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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

From Coast to Coast

The athletic programs at UMass Boston are familiar with all the old excuses. Small budgets, questionable facilities, and limited recruiting possibilities. While those may be true, the volleyball program, under coach Terry Condon’s watch, has never been limited by a narrow recruiting pipeline.

This year, the squad features players from Illinois, Colorado, and a couple from California – a pretty wide mix when you consider all of these players were brought in to play at UMB through phone calls and networking.

“I have contacts all over,” Condon said. “I know coaches in Texas and Illinois that used to play for me and are now coaching.” Through participating in volleyball camps (like the one she did in Texas in July, which is expected to yield new players next year) and expanding her contacts to a national level, Condon is slowly bringing a more national level of exposure to a program that is undoubtedly on the rise.

Interestingly enough, Condon has a higher success rate with players from out of state than with those right in Boston’s backyard. “Girls from Massachusetts don’t seem to want to go here,” Condon said. “They view us as a commuter school.”

While the new Master Plan (which will include a dorm-style living arrangement) will begin to change that perception, Condon has no qualms about looking far and wide to bring in girls from all areas, because she can sell the city to her players.

“Getting California girls has not been an issue, because the school and the city sell itself,” Condon said. “Some of them aren’t going home after college – they want to stay.”

It’s easy to believe Condon when she says that out-of-state volleyball players will end up loving Boston. After all, she herself has undergone the transformation following her stellar career at UCLA and being on several national teams. Now, she calls Boston home.

“I’m from California, and I love it here,” Condon said. “When I go to see my parents, I always tell them, ‘I’m just visiting!'”

When it comes down to it, maturing these athletes into young adults with options is what is important about college athletics. Athletics, whether at a Division I, II or III level, can open up athletes’ minds to opportunities and experiences that go far beyond the playing field.

Freshman Brigid Wendle is one of those cases, as she is experiencing things that she never could have imagined living in Alton, Illinois. That’s not a slight to her hometown; rather, it’s a complement to the variety of attractions a big city like Boston can offer.

“Compared to Alton, Boston is a different world,” Wendle said. “Just walking around downtown from Fenway to Newbury Street is still exciting to me. It’s all so gorgeous.”

Star junior Kate McWhorter hails from Bakersfield, CA. While being 3,000 miles away from home is tough for her at times, the outside hitter is excited by a fresh start in Boston.

“I am loving my first year in Boston,” the recently-named Little East Offensive Player of the Week said. “Being born and raised in a small town in California I wanted something bigger – and here I am.”

When Condon hits the recruiting trail, she can tell students how much they’ll love the city of Boston or the court at the Clark Athletic Center. Or, she can simply use testimonials from her current out of state stars, like Wendle.

“My favorite part about living here is how new everything is,” the middle hitter said. “New people, new sights, new experiences…It’s an absolutely fantastic feeling. I love living here.”