Pratt spikes to Northwestern

Junior commits to dream university


photo from the Daily Herald

When many of us are young, we take on a sport not thinking about where it could take us in the future. For junior Ava Pratt, varsity Volleyball Outside Hitter, she will be contiuning her childhood sport, that she began at nine years old, at her dream school, Northwestern University

Pratt wouldn’t have gotten into Northwestern without her commitment to volleyball. The determination and extra hours spent playing got her to where she is today, Pratt said.

“I know that if I did everything in my power to get better, stronger, [and] be a better teammate, I would potentially become a student athlete,” Pratt said.

When Pratt’s goal of becoming a student athlete came into fruition, she explored all the options when it came to choosing where to attend college, however, Northwestern was her first choice, Pratt said.

“It was a pretty easy decision for me because I had always wanted to go [to Northwestern],” Pratt said. “What was hard for me was being sure I looked at every university possible and take them into account.”

With the commitment to Northwestern, Pratt looks forward to all the academic and athletic opportunties. Pratt explained that she didn’t find a school that had those opportunities through the commitment process.

“Through the process I never found a school that [had] everything Northwestern has, with academics, sports, [and] it being one of the best conferences for volleyball in the country,” Pratt said.

Pratt always stood out as a distinguished volley- ball player, Kelly Dorn, girls’ varsity Volleyball Head Coach, said. Pratt has always made a great impact on the team and inspires her teammates with her success.

“I think [Pratt] is a good leader on and off the court,” Dorn said. “I think her play inspires other people. She is a really good teammate.”

Pratt’s dad, Tom Pratt, said he has always seen Ava as a strong, responsible player ever since she started volleyball. Tom wasn’t surprised by Ava’s commitment because he felt that Northwestern was a perfect fit for her.

“She really had a passion for [volleyball] from a young age and enjoyed the hard work that she was putting into it,” Tom said. “[Ava] was seeing results, so we are not surprised at all that this is the path she chose and the path she ended up taking.”

Ava believes that without her passion for volley- ball, she would not have become the player that she is today. She advises athletes that want to pursue their sport in the future, to put in the work now in order to achieve their goals.

“Maintain the passion for your sport because it is hard to get better and want to get better if you do not have that passion,” Ava said. “What really sets you apart from other athletes is putting in the work when no one is looking, and I think that is really hard to do when you do not love your sport.”

Continuing with a sport, even if you face challenges, can be difficult, Ava said. However, with determination and passion Ava believes can overcome those obstacles.

“It gets really tough, and through those moments you have to use your love for the game to really get you through it,” Ava said.