Freshman Avery Enzbrenner didn’t want to venture too far from her home in Atchison, Kansas, to go to college, and, like most freshmen, she was a little uneasy about adjusting to life on campus. When she stepped on the volleyball court with her fellow teammates, however, she knew things were going to work out just fine. “I have found the girls on the team to be very friendly and inviting,” she said. “We have fun on all the bus rides to away games, and I’m feeling a real part of the team.”
Having played all four years at Atchison High School, Avery is here on a volleyball scholarship and several smaller scholarships. She first heard about OU from her mother, who received information about Ottawa University in the mail. Then, when the Lady Braves volleyball team traveled to Atchison to play Benedictine College last year, Avery went to watch. She was impressed. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but they played really well,” she said. Now she is a part of the highly successful team as an outside hitter.
Going to college was never a question for Avery while in high school, largely because of her dad. “My dad was the most inspirational person in my life because he was always pushing me to be the best I could be and motivating me to do the right thing,” she said.
In Avery’s junior year of high school, her dad, who was a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Though it was difficult to move forward, she knew it’s what he would have wanted. “He expected me to go to college and helped me in that process,” she said.
Coach Tom Symons is now inspiring her on the volleyball court. “He holds us to high standards and expects us to give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time,” said Avery. Apparently, Coach Symons is impressed with her level of dedication. “From a distance, Avery is a quiet and unassuming person,” he said. “Inside, though, she is a competitor that is willing to do whatever she can to help her team succeed. This includes her efforts in the classroom. She has shown great dedication on and off the court and we are feel very proud and fortunate to have Avery in our program.”
In the classroom, she is getting her feet wet and trying to decide on a major. “Right now I’m adjusting to the college atmosphere and looking to find what interests me and what I could make a career out of,” she said. In addition to the new friends she’s making on the volleyball team, Avery is finding that adjustment a little easier due to the fact that her best friend from high school, Hanna Jaloma, also decided to come to OU. Avery was quick to clarify, “I decided on OU first, though!”
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