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Marshall digs her way to DI

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Juggling a sport and academics is something many high school athletes do, but not many can say that they will compete at the collegiate level. Senior volleyball player Lesley Marshall is one student who has decided to continue her career in sports. Marshall has committed to Cleveland State University, a Division I NCAA college in Ohio.

Marshall started playing volleyball when she was in first grade.

“I got into playing volleyball because I grew up watching my sister, and I wanted to be like her,” Marshall said.

Marshall has spent the last 11 years playing travel ball, and it has been a large part of her life and development as an athlete and young woman.

“It has become second nature. It keeps me motivated and has taught me many lessons like perseverance, work ethic, and teamwork,” Marshall said.

With the intensive time commitment and being a part of many different teams, Marshall has met some of her closest friends through volleyball.

“I’ve always had people to go to and surround myself with. Being on a volleyball team is like having an instant family,” Marshall said.

Other than her teammates, Marshall has been supported by her mother throughout the entirety of her life.

“She is a very strong-willed person and she always has an answer for everything,” Marshall said.

The DI program at the University of Cleveland offers athletes like Marshall the chance to continue playing volleyball in a competitive environment. Though she had many offers and opportunities to play at the collegiate level, Marshall ultimately decided to join the Vikings.

“When I went on my official visit, I loved all of the girls and the campus. I knew I would be happy in Cleveland, and they have a great nursing program, which is what I am studying,” Marshall said.

Aside from her future as a Viking, Marshall has plenty of memories as a Slicer. Some of her favorite moments include big home games in the Slicer Gym and hanging with her club and school ball teammates. Marshall also has a plethora of achievements from her time on the court.

Marshall’s achievements include two times All-Conference (junior and senior year),
Mental Attitude Award junior year, two times Digging Award (junior and senior year), two times captain (junior and senior year), MVP senior year, Serving Award senior year, played in the Indiana North v. South game, reached over 1000 career digs, and finished top ten in the state in digs junior and senior year.

Though Marshall has had plenty of achievements, she has also struggled. During her freshman and sophomore year, Marshall tore her labrum, a vital part of her shoulder that restricted her from hitting and serving.

“I had a 360-degree tear and got nine anchors put into my shoulder. I overcame it by being diligent about my physical therapy and working to get my shoulder back to full strength so that I could play again,” Marshall said.

Marshall’s recovery and career have been an inspiration to many Slicers and has let Slicers know that they can become DI athletes with enough hard work and diligence.

Marshall has left a lasting mark on her teammates and Slicers alike. Her contributions to volleyball have paved the way for future players in and out of the LaPorte program.

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