Ready, Set, Go
Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2012 in "Academic Programs", Athletics, volleyball
The Ottawa University volleyball team had just lost their final game of the season and Shannon (Holmes) Donley’s career as a Brave was over. It was a bittersweet realization – one that Donley says she’ll never forget. “After the match, we sat in the locker room for a long time and just talked about everything,” says Donley, who is from Dexter, Kansas.
They talked about their season, their dreams, their futures, knowing they would soon leave college behind to go into the “real” world. During Donley’s career, she appeared in 72 sets. She had three kills, seven assists, one service ace, and 113 digs. She was twice named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. But Donley says her biggest accomplishment has nothing to do with her playing statistics. “My biggest accomplishment in volleyball throughout my four years was my improvement,” says Donley. “I came from a very small town and realized when I got here how behind I was and how hard I would have to work to play at this level. That was definitely an eye opener for me, but right off the bat I had 16 other girls who were like family.” Every season as a Brave, Donley says she improved and she never lost sight of her goal. Donley, who was named a captain her junior and senior years, says volleyball taught her important lessons. “The experience in leadership that I gained is irreplaceable. Volleyball was a huge impact on my life, and I do not regret a single minute of playing or being a part of this team.” During Donley’s sophomore season, she had a career high nine digs versus Sterling College. That year, she also married OU student Justin Donley ’11. An accounting major, Donley says she was worried at first about juggling school, volleyball and marriage, but in the end it paid off in every way possible. “The support that Justin gave me and the whole team made it very easy on me, and I always appreciated that,” said Donley. Donley plans on pursuing a career in accounting in the Kansas City area. “Playing college athletics is an experience unlike any other,” says Donley. “I am so thankful for OU and the volleyball team and everyone in my life for helping my dream of being a college volleyball player come true. I am truly blessed to have played for a great school and a great program.”