VOLLEYBALL TEAM WORLDWIDE, YEAR-ROUND
Temple volleyball has one of the most diverse rosters in terms of hometowns of all the athletic teams at Temple. Eight of the 16 players come from outside the state of Pennsylvania, and four more come from overseas, giving the Owls a unique blend of players.
Due to the nature of volleyball recruitment, it is common that the player will reach out to the coaching staff, instead of the staff making initial contact with the player. Senior Alyssa Drachslin said the recruitment process required a good amount of work on her end.
“Volleyball recruiting is a bit different than other sports. You have to really reach out and prove to coaches that you’re good enough for their program,” Drachslin said. “I would email coaches just to get my name out. There was definitely some legwork on my end.”
Assistant Coach Akiko Hatakeyama also serves as the team’s recruiting coordinator. She said the coaching staff tries to cover all aspects when dealing with potential recruits.
“We all work closely,” Hatakeyama said. “Coach Bakeer
Ganesharatnam and the assistant coaches are in communication with potential recruits, and we’re able to travel to different tournaments around the country.”
With players coming from as far as Turkey, the coaching
staff tends to get in contact with potential recruits somewhat early in their high school careers. Freshman player
Mia Heirakuji was first contacted during her junior year of
“My first contact with Temple was my junior year, when Coach Ganes and Akiko visited Hawaii for a combine,” Herakuji said.
“From there, the process took roughly two years,” Herakuji said. “There were a few other schools I’d been in contact with, but the facilities and academics at Temple really stood out to me.”
For seniors, many of the buildings and resources available now weren’t open during their freshman and sophomore years. Drachslin remembers a different Temple when she visited nearly four years ago.
“When I first visited, I had to step over pieces of cardboard just to get to the coaches office,” Drachslin said.
Still, she was undeterred by the state of main campus when making her decision.
“Temple is a great university,” Drachslin said. “I came here less for the external factors, but more for the individuals I met, like my teammates.”
Recruiting for coaches is a yearlong process, and for Hatakeyama, it’s all about finding the best
“We are in constant communication trying to figure out what type of player and person a potential recruit is,” Hatakeyama said. “We always focus on getting players we think will best fit the program.”
written by joseph williams
photographed by jademan baker