Allison Gould seizes an opportunity with DV Volleyball | Sports


Allison Gould was determined to make a good first impression at Desert Vista when she and her family moved from Chicago to Arizona last year, just before her junior season.

She wasted no time introducing herself to first-year coach Audra Slemmer at the Thunder’s first summer open gym session. Slemmer joked that Gould barely let her through the gym doors before she was greeted with a wide smile, an outstretched hand and an infectious personality.

But that’s how Gould is, no matter the circumstances. And that’s why, although she had to take on the role of team leader last year due to a torn meniscus that left her unable to compete, she rose to the occasion. She knew her time would come. Slemmer, the other coaches and her teammates too.

“I was like, ‘Next year will be your year,'” Gould said. “I knew that if I kept coming day after day, it would pay off. Thinking back, I’m grateful to my past for getting through this.

Gould was thrilled with her move to Arizona. She was excited about the opportunity to make new friends and experience volleyball outside of Illinois and Chicago. But shortly before her move, she suffered a torn meniscus.

Thoughts of despair immediately crossed his mind. She thought volleyball was the only way to make friends in Desert Vista. She thought the team wouldn’t accept her because she was hurt. She was on the right track heading into her junior season as she saw her game improve.

Then she felt the pop.

“When I first felt the pop, I was like, ‘This isn’t happening,'” Gould said. “I actually kicked my leg and put it back together and played for a couple of weeks and tore it again.

“(Rehabilitation) was long. It was a struggle.

Even when Gould was unable to perform, she became a vocal leader. Her teammates fell in love with her positive attitude and her relentless push to be the best versions of themselves on the pitch. It’s also what she wanted for herself.

His personality has become contagious within the team. Her teammates started rooting hard for her comeback, and she fed off of that energy. So much so that when she was cleared by doctors, Slemmer and staff had to call her back during gym workouts.

“We were like, ‘Okay, you gotta relax here,'” Slemmer said. “She tried out for the club, she formed a team at Storm and played for them. She came back to an open gym and we were like, ‘Damn, we didn’t expect this.’

“She’s that kid that you love to tell the story with because she’s that all-season serving leader and she just carried her team energetically off the bench. Now she needs to be rewarded on the pitch.

Since returning, Gould has ditched the knee brace and returned to 100%. Her positive attitude on the bench last season carried over well to the court, where she helped lead Desert Vista to victory in their opener against Mesa in the libero on Wednesday August 31st.

Just like she did when she was initially shut out, she flew around the field and dove for balls. After each point, whether he went to Desert Vista or not, the smile returned to her face as she continued to motivate her team with high fives and words of encouragement.

Slemmer said Gould had the same mindset in training. This is one of the main reasons why her teammates voted her captain this season.

Simply put, she is the ultimate team player.

“She’s such an energetic person that you see her all the time on the court, on the bench, walking around campus, she always has a smile on her face and her energy is contagious,” said senior Gabbi LeBlanc. “She is relentless. She dives into the walls and always gets up with a smile. It’s inspiring to play with someone like that.

Desert Vista’s squad this season is young with only six seniors on the roster. Most of the key contributors to last year’s team have graduated.

The Thunder were looking for exceptional players who could take over as the leader of the program. They found this in Gould. And it’s a role she loves, as does the Desert Vista program as a whole.

Slemmer gave him an opportunity. The entire volleyball community has begun to embrace him for his passion, contagious positive attitude and eye-opening talent.

That’s exactly what she hoped would happen when she left Chicago.

“If you hadn’t welcomed me and loved me the way you did, I probably wouldn’t have come back here,” Gould told Slemmer. “They welcomed me with open arms and I’m really grateful for that. It’s what I wanted.


About Author

Comments are closed.