By: CASEY MCDONALD
During break, students are usually relaxing with no homework, celebrating the holidays and enjoying the time off of school. But for one IU South Bend athlete, winter break was also time for some exciting news.
Volleyball mid-hitter Ashley McClintock was named an All American on several occasions.
The 5-foot 10-inch junior comes from Westville High School in Westville, Ind. She majors in elementary education and minors in early childhood education. While in high school she helped lead Westville to a tournament championship at the Culver Early Bird tournament as a junior, and was named to the North vs. South and East vs. West All-Star team and named Porter County Conference’s Most Valuable Player her senior year.
Her freshman year in collegiate athletics brought numerous season-high stats. In a match against Bethel, she hit a season-high 18 kills and went several matches with double digits kills. Ending her freshman season, she had a team-high 94 total blocks for 325.5 points and a team-high .251 attack percentage.
She was a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) first team selection and was named United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA) Women’s Volleyball All-America Team honorable mention. Two years later, McClintock continues to set highs and make sure the CCAC knows she competes until the end.
This season McClintock was honored with six different awards: American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All American Honorable Mention and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Mid-East All-Region Team, the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-American Honors, the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) First Team and All-Academic Team and finally Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes honor.
Being named for these honors is a privilege that some athletes don’t get.
“I feel honored to receive these recognitions, but I couldn’t have done it without the team. I have been privileged to be teammates with many great girls over my years here, which is the best thing that I could ever ask for,” McClintock said.
One of her biggest supporters is her father, the person who inspires her to do her best. “He is such a hard worker and dedicating to everything that he does. He has missed a total of three volleyball games in my whole playing career, which started when I was 16 years old,” McClintock said.
Being a student-athlete is tough, because you’re balancing a fulltime school schedule and full season of conditioning, practices and games. “It’s hard, because in the fall semester we are in season and traveling, and during the spring semester we are working hard and putting in many hours each day in order to get better for the upcoming season.”
The Daktronics and CCAC All-Academic Honors both require that a student athlete’s GPA be no lower than a 3.5, so staying on top of her grades is a must.
Outside of being a student and an athlete, McClintock does some work around the area. She coached younger volleyball girls ranging from fourth to sixth-graders for two years. “This year I am starting to go a little further and ‘reffing’ local volleyball matches for club season.”
Alongside that, every year the team does at least two volunteer events to help out the community.
The team is a big part of her life. It has helped every step of the way when being recognized for these awards.
“We accomplished something huge this year. We earned our first ever bid into the NAIA Nationals. Even though we did not win the match we still got to fly to Montana and have a great time together.”