Sarah Agnew Hits the Beach—and the Books—in Downtown Atlanta
Most sand volleyball players, college or professional, don't have ambulances wailing past their courts or freight trains passing several feet above them. For Georgia State University's players, though, it's all part of the experience—and junior Sarah Agnew has embraced it.
"Having sand in the middle of downtown Atlanta isn't something that people expect, but it's been really neat integrating the city feel with the beach feel," she says.
And the Georgia State community has embraced her and her teammates—who made it to last year's national championship tournament in only the program's third year of existence—right back.
"It's been fun watching everybody start to grasp the sport and fall in love with it as we have," Sarah says. "When we have home events, everybody comes out, and they have so much fun being out in the sun watching us play. In class, they'll ask us how our tournaments have gone, when a few years ago they didn't even really know that we had tournaments."
Sarah's leadership doesn't end at the out-of-bounds line on the sand court, though. Thanks to donor support for Georgia State's Honors College and College of Education and Human Development, she's also getting the chance to earn a degree in exercise science in the hopes of one day earning a master's in prosthetics and orthotics. And as an Honors College Ambassador, she's providing a role model for prospective students seeking similar success.
"I work events, meet prospective students, give tours," she says. "They definitely are a little surprised when I mention that [I'm an athlete]. It usually comes up at some point in the tour, and the time commitment is always something that they ask about. I think they realize that if someone can juggle athletics with the Honors College, it's not really an overwhelming workload. It's something that's manageable and realistic."
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