China Crouch commits to college

Applying to colleges during senior year can be a very stressful time for students, but unlike most students, junior China Crouch has already committed to the University of Arizona to play volleyball.

Crouch has been playing volleyball since she was six years old, and it has had a huge impact on her throughout her life. She has learned many valuable life lessons through the sport.

“This sport has brought me power and confidence and helped me grow not only as a player, but as an individual,” Crouch said. “Volleyball was one of the first things that made me feel confident and proud of who I am and who I will become.”

Through her many years of playing volleyball, Crouch has suffered several injuries, but she continues to persevere in order to improve her game. Although coming back from an injury can be tough, Crouch has proved that with hard work, it is possible.

“I’ve had my fair share with injuries in this sport,” Crouch said. “I just recently recovered from a concussion. I was set back in my school work and my sport. I couldn’t work out or better myself for the upcoming club season and that really stressed me out.”

Despite her recent concussion, Crouch still managed to go through the exciting but stressful recruiting process. She invited coaches from different schools to watch her play in order to try to get recruited for a college team.

“Inviting coaches to see you play can be a thrill, but also can make you really anxious,” Crouch said. “At the end of the day, if a player really wants to go to a top school, they’ll work hard to get the coach’s attention. And when you get it, it can be so rewarding.”

From as early as eighth grade, colleges began noticing Crouch. When she finally committed to University of Arizona, she felt that she had found the school for her because it fit all of her personal needs.

“I wanted to play in the Pac 12 conference, and I got that,” Crouch said. “I wanted to be away from home but not too far, and I got that. I wanted to feel comfortable with the coaches, players, academics and altogether the school in general, and I got that.”

After committing to college during her junior year of high school volleyball, Crouch’s teammates and coach congratulated her for her hard work on and off the court.

“The recruiting process is so stressful, so when [a player does] finally commit it’s a great accomplishment,” varsity volleyball coach Kristin Tomkinson said. “You’re so proud of them and you know they’ve worked so hard. It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy for them every time.”

Between now and the time she will go to college, Crouch plans on continuing to improve at her sport in order to prepare herself for college level play. She is grateful for everyone who has helped her up to this point, and she will continue to learn from the sport as she has done since she was six.

“What [makes] volleyball worth playing is the journey that it is taking me on,” Crouch said. “I have to thank not only the sport, my team and coaches, [but] I have to mainly thank my mother who has pushed me to be great. I could never thank her enough for everything that she has done and still does for me.”