Graduating from high school and moving on to college can be somewhat of a difficult experience. It can also be confusing depending on how many schools one is considering. Some choose a college or university and stay there until they graduate, while others start off at community colleges and continue their degree elsewhere.
Two Illinois State volleyball players did not begin their college careers as Redbirds, but instead made the decision to stay close to home and attend community colleges first.
Seniors Brooklyn Hlafka and Danielle Donahue are now happy with their decisions to transfer to ISU after beginning at community colleges.
“I initially attended Moraine Valley because I wanted to spend a couple years honing my skills before I tried to advance to the Division I level,” defensive specialist Donahue said.
Although both of the girls transferred to ISU after community college, Hlafka only attended Lewis and Clark Community College for one semester before deciding to transfer.
Prior to starting her volleyball career at ISU, Hlafka was named MWAC Co-Freshman of the Year and earned MWAC and MCCAC First Team All-Conference honors. She broke Lewis and Clark’s school record in kills with 492, and was also second on her team in total blocks with 141.
“After my first season, Melissa Myers had scouted and recruited me to compete at Illinois State, and thus, I transferred after just my first semester,” right side hitter Hlafka said.
Donahue attended Moraine Valley Community College for two years before joining Hlafka and the rest of the volleyball team. While she was at Moraine Valley she earned the Skyway Second-Team All-Conference selection and the Skyway All-Region IV team selection. Donahue recorded 544 digs during her 2011 season at Moraine Valley.
“I already had pre-existing ties to Illinois State because my sister attended the university and I had a strong desire to be a Redbird,” Donahue said. “I contacted Melissa Myers to express my desires and she welcomed me with open arms.”
But, before her decision to become a Redbird, Donahue considered another school in the Midwest.
“I had a curiosity about Indiana State because I had a friend who played volleyball there and it would’ve been a great experience to play alongside her,” Donahue said. “However, I made the decision to go to ISU, and I wholeheartedly feel it was the correct decision.”
Hlafka was not as interested in any other schools for her college career.
“In my initial interest to play volleyball collegiately, I mildly considered a handful of colleges, but nothing was in serious consideration. LCCC and ISU were my only choices, and I’m glad I stuck to those,” Hlafka added.
Although ISU was not where these two volleyball players started, it is exactly where they want to be now. Hlafka and Donahue enjoy playing volleyball as Redbirds and are happy with their decisions.
“It’s been a tremendous experience thus far and I’m extremely blessed to have this opportunity,” Donahue said.