COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2018) – Mica Allison (White Heath, Illinois) brings a different dimension to the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team as it begins NORCECA Women’s U20 Championship competition on Monday.
Allison was an early enrollee into Auburn University this spring, foregoing her final season of club volleyball with Illini Elite. She was able to train in the offseason with her Auburn teammates, and gain experience with older players around her.
Allison is the only player on this year’s WJNT to skip her final club season, and eight of her WJNT teammates will still be in high school come this fall.
Allison brings some big-time honors to the squad as well. She was named most valuable player of the AAU 17-and-Under Open Division in 2017 after leading her squad to the title.
Allison was named as PrepVolleyball.com’s No. 7 overall recruit on its 2018 Senior Aces List. That honor comes on the heels of leading Saint Thomas More High School to its first-ever Illinois State Championship in 2017. Allison was also selected to the AVCA High School All-America Third Team.
Allison started playing club volleyball in 2012, and has been a mainstay in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline. She was part of the USA Select A1, then progressed to the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team and played in the 2017 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship.
Allison comes from an athletic family. Her mother Kim played volleyball at UCF, while her sister Leah currently plays softball at University of Toledo.
To learn more about Allison, read her Q&A below.
USA Volleyball: Describe your experiences in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline.
Allison: “I have been doing High Performance for a long time now. I’d say it is always a good experience. It is really fun getting to play with girls from different clubs and colleges that you don’t get a chance to play with, except across the net. I have always had a good experience with the coaches, learning new things, new techniques and having a lot of fun with it.”
USA Volleyball: You enrolled at Auburn a semester early. How has that gone, and foregoing your final season of club volleyball?
Allison: “It was kind of sad at first knowing I wasn’t going to play club. It was different. But I am really excited that I did go early because I got to experience everything before the fall and the season starts up. It is kind of a weird situation that I am the only one in college on this team (WJNT). But I don’t really think anything of it.”
USA Volleyball: What are some of the strengths of this Women’s Junior National Team that blends some athletes who have been in the pipeline with the Girls’ Youth National Team with newer athletes in the pipeline?
Allison: “I think this group connects really well. I know a lot of us girls have been talking about that. Last year was kind of different having to have a tryout competing with your position. But this year, we all came in on the team already. So we really connect really well. There are a lot of big hitters, good passers, a little bit of everything.”
USA Volleyball: What has it been like by not having to go through a tryout as well as a training block at the same time, where your focus is solely on getting ready for the NORCECA U20 Championship?
Allison: “I think there is a huge difference. We are not stressing on having to make the team because we already are on the team. It is a lot different on how we go about things. We are working more on techniques than competing with someone else in your position.”
USA Volleyball: You also have played opposite as well as setter. Do you prefer setting or hitting?
Allison: “I like either, really. For me, I go about it differently. Hitting, I get to score and find it fun scoring points. Setting, it is fun setting up my hitters to score points. I really don’t have a preference on either. Both are fun.”
USA Volleyball: What do you want to do with volleyball in the future?
Allison: “I am hoping to play after college, and hopefully play for the National Team. When my body can’t take it anymore, hopefully coach for a college.”
USA Volleyball: So you are interested in the coaching field?
Allison: “I want to stay with volleyball as long as I can. I love it. I think it would be fun to teach other people to play, have that experience and being able to pass it on to others.”
USA Volleyball: Who have been some of your role models in the sport?
Allison: “I have never really thought about that. I know, being around the Big Ten, as a kid I always looked up to Lauren Carlini at the setter position.”