SARASOTA — Ashley Allmer wanted no part of the recruiting process.
Sure, the Riverview High senior had aspirations of playing volleyball at the next level, but when it came to the stress and intimidation associated with calling college coaches, Allmer was less than impressed.
Allmer heard great things about the recruiting process, but it wasn’t until it was over that she finally saw its benefit.
Allmer’s hard work and dedication to reach out to college coaches recently paid off when she verbally committed to play sand volleyball for LSU.
“I feel so much happier and stress-free now,” Allmer says. “I didn’t enjoy (the recruiting process). I’m happy it’s over and done with.”
Allmer chose LSU, which played its inaugural sand volleyball season this past spring, over Florida State, Hawaii, Mercer and Stetson, among others.
“I toured the school (over the summer) and loved it,” Allmer says of LSU. “Any school that I toured after that I just couldn’t compare it.”
Allmer spent a good portion of the recruiting process debating whether to play sand volleyball or indoor volleyball. After a stellar summer on the beach, Allmer decided to keep her feet in the sand.
Allmer began playing volleyball in seventh grade, but she didn’t play in her first sand volleyball tournament until three years ago. With the help of Riverview volleyball coach Joe Rohr, who also plays professional beach volleyball, Allmer gradually got better over time. But it wasn’t until this past summer when Allmer won a series of beach volleyball tournaments, including the 18s division of the East Coast Beach All-Star Championships with Lakewood Ranch High senior Nicole Grant, who recently verbally committed to Florida Atlantic University, that she decided to look into playing sand volleyball in college.
“I love being on the beach, and with sand volleyball you get to use all (facets) of volleyball: passing, setting and hitting,” says Allmer, who is a setter for the Lady Rams. “With sand it’s more your own skill whereas with indoor it’s everyone.”
Allmer will spend the fall playing her final season for the Lady Rams before turning her attention back to the beach in preparation for her first season of collegiate volleyball.
“I’m looking forward to bonding with my teammates and having that team aspect of beach volleyball in college that I wouldn’t normally get playing beach here,” says Allmer, who will transition to a more defensive role in college. “I’m just hoping to grow as a person, mature and get stronger both physically and mentally.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].