Gage on pace to earn more accolades
Hunter Lyle – Reporter
After a long scholastic sporting career, decorated with accolades and titles, Alyssa Gage enters her last year as a student-athlete at Southern.
The now senior nursing major was born and raised in Beverly Hills, Florida, where she attended Seven Rivers Christian School as a three-season athlete, playing basketball, volleyball and softball.
After graduating from Seven Rivers Christian School, and after winning Female Athlete of the Year three times, Gage chose to attend College of Central Florida, a junior college, where she would focus on volleyball.
After staying for two years, and after earning two consecutive conference titles, Gage chose to take her talents to Southern.
“Southern felt like a good fit for me,” said Gage. “I wanted something different, like a totally different state, new people. I chose Southern because I just felt like this was the place for me.”
The team recruited Gage because she had a lot of experience, said head coach Lisa Barbaro, and the team needed someone who knew how to win.
“She’s been a major difference maker for our program,” said Barbaro. “On top of that, just the way she carries herself and her leadership. I think the whole team feels very confident when the ball is in her hand.” Like many successful athletes, Gage’s passion and love for the sport of volleyball started at a young age.
“I have been playing volleyball since the fifth grade,” said Gage. “I got into it just from middle school. I just wanted to try something new and then I just fell in love with it.”
During her time at Southern, Gage has received a wide array of achievements. She was named All-Region, All-ECAC and All-NE10 selection as well as named
to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team.
Besides her accolades, Gage also brings a certain presence to the team to help the younger players.
“Gage is definitely a lead by example kind of kid,” said Barbaro. “She presents herself very confidently, and not in a cocky way. She’s confident in her abilities.”
Gage always keeps a calm mindset, said Barbaro, whether Gage is playing well or not, she always keeps a true game face, and a lot of the other players look up to that.
“I look to the freshman and let them know if they need anything, they can always come talk about anything they need to,” said Gage. “I also want them to be comfortable because I know, coming in as a freshman at my junior college, of course you’re intimidated and scared, and you don’t want that to happen. You have to push them, like tough love.”
Sixteen matches into the season, the women’s volleyball team has reached a record of 7-9, but when playing at home, the Owls have gone 5-1. With 15 games left in the regular season, the team is still aiming for the New England 10 tournament.
“Our goal for this year is to not beat ourselves,” said Gage. “Keep being positive, keep moving forward.”
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications