California Volleyball Player at Home at MCLA


Allison ClarkWhen psychology major Allison Clark ’17 was looking to transfer to a four-year university, it didn’t matter that MCLA was clear across the country from her home in San Jose, Calif.

“I wanted to experience something completely new in my life, and decided college was the perfect opportunity,” Clark said of her move to MCLA. “I love the warm culture here. It has been such a smooth transition because of the environment that surrounds the campus as a whole.”

Previously a junior college athlete at Foothill Community College in Los Altos, Calif., where she played volleyball for two years, Clark attributes her decision to transfer to MCLA to Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Amanda Beckwith, who contacted and recruited her.

Around the sport of volleyball her entire life, Clark’s two older sisters played Division I volleyball at Santa Clark University and Pepperdine University – both in California. Constantly surrounded by volleyball, she initially decided to play basketball, instead.

“I wanted to remain different from my sisters and have my own life and goals, but once I got into high school I decided to take up both sports,” she explained. “Although I still have an extreme soft spot for basketball, volleyball began to steal my heart. It was in my blood, and the passion I have for this sport continues to pump to my heart.

“I love the team aspect of this sport. I love that, no matter what, I can look behind me and I have all of my girls right there, ready to catch me,” Clark continued. “I love the grind. I love pushing myself to new limits and striving to be the best I can be for the people around me.”

So far, her experience as a volleyball player at MCLA has been one of comfort, mental and physical pushing of limits, and a growing love for her team, Clark said. Despite the fact that she’s a new Trailblazer, “I have established relationships with these girls that I know will last. I have connected, bonded and have grown to cherish the time I spend with each and every one of them in different ways.”

At a recent game, Clark collected a season high 25 kills in a four-set win over Norwich University. During two games on Saturday, with 15 kills and 11 digs, she was named to the All Tournament team. And, on Tuesday night, she joined the Trailblazers when they tied a school record with their 15th win of the season over Lyndon State.

In the classroom, Clark finds her coursework interesting and said it’s allowed her opportunities to be fully engaged and enjoy learning.

“I love the subject of psychology because it opens your mind to a whole new world and helps you to understand what, where, and why we perform certain behaviors, actions and feelings deep within,” she explained. “It gives me the opportunity to understand success rather than strive for it. It interests me every day in a different way, and that is a fascinating concept in itself.”

In addition to playing volleyball, Clark participates in the Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC). “It’s a great way to stay involved and make the school and sports teams flourish to their full potential,” she said.

Clark recommends MCLA to prospective students, “Because it is a beautiful place with many opportunities and great company."