Junior Alexa Mathisen attended an intensive volleyball camp at the Claremont Colleges over the summer.

Q: Why did you decide to attend a volleyball camp?

A: I play competitive volleyball, and I want to play in college. At the level I play at, colleges invite me to programs which will help me pursue my interests.

Q: Where was camp?

A: The regular gym was under construction, so we practiced in the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps club facility. Camp was five days long, July 9-13.

Q: What did a typical day look like?

A: We’d wake up at 8 a.m., and then we’d go to breakfast. Then we’d play volleyball for about three hours, and then we’d go to lunch. After lunch, there was another three to four hours of volleyball, and then we’d get some down time.

After dinner there was this SAT prep and college-essay writing session, which was two hours long. Then we just talked about college stuff. And then we’d go to bed.

Q: How was the living and eating situation?

A: There were two people per room, and each hall shared a common living room and a bathroom. The food was just normal cafeteria food – not bad, decent, I guess. One night we went into town and got pizza.

Q: Did you have a lot of freedom at camp? Did you have time to explore the campus?

A: We were given some tours, but mostly we stayed in our dorms during free time. There was that one night, the night we got pizza, where we got to walk around downtown. My friends and I watched a movie.

Mathisen played at Junior Olympics this summer for her club volleyball team, Five Starz, which placed 17th overall in the nation. Mathisen also plays on the SCDS varsity team.

(Photo courtesy of Mathisen)
Junior Alexa Mathisen played at Junior Olympics this summer for her club volleyball team, Five Starz, which placed 17th in the nation. Mathisen also plays on the SCDS varsity.

Q: Was it a valuable experience?

A: Yeah, it was good because I got to play girls I’ve never played before. I know all of the NorCal girls pretty much, so it’s fun playing new people. I made good friends at camp – it’s nice being with people who share my interests.

Q: Do you know if similar programs are available for other sports?

A:  I know it happens in volleyball, basketball, baseball. It’s basically a way for colleges to see you play. The Claremont Colleges are highly academic – they’re Division III, which means you have to get in on academics first. That’s why they have these camps – they want to make sure their athletes are academically prepared.

Q: Would you recommend this camp and other similar camps to student athletes at our school?

A: I would definitely recommend these camps. It’s a good way to see the school and preview the college experience. Sometimes it’s hard for athletes because you don’t want schools to view you as just, say, a volleyball player. These camps are a chance for colleges to see you as a whole person.

—By Marigot Fackenthal

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