Editor’s Note: This story will appear in the April 28 edition of the Miami Valley Today.
TROY — Troy High School seniors Hallie Westmeyer and Sumedha Wundavalli may be on the opposite end of the height spectrum.
But, both achieved their goals of college scholarships to play the sport they love and made it official Friday in the Trojan Activity Center.
Westmeyer, who towers over opponents at the net in volleyball, will play for Bellarmine, University in Louisville.
And while size was a plus for her on the volleyball floor — it still took hard work and desire to achieve the success she has had.
After a successful career at Troy, it achieved her goal of playing Division I volleyball.
“That (playing Division I) was something that was always a goal,” the daughter of Ed and Shannon Westmeyer said. “It was a lot of hard work. There were a lot of emails to coaches, playing club (volleyball), it has been a lot, but it is exciting.”
Westmeyer had a break out season last fall for the Trojans.
The middle/right side, who finished her career with 196 kills and 110 blocks, had 139 kills and 73 blocks.
She ranked fourth in the MVL in blocks and earned All-MVL honors.
“It is exciting to share this moment with my family and friends,” she said. “I feel like I can compete (right away) for playing time. That is what the coaches talked to me about and that is the goal.
Westmeyer said the choice of Bellarmine was an easy one.
“I love the coach,” she said. “I love the city of Louisville. It is one of my favorite cities.”
And the looks forward to helping the program make the move to the D-I level next year.
“It will be their first year in Division I,” she said. “It is excited to be part of that — building into a Division I program.”
And she looks forward to the challenge of playing at the Division I level.
“Being in a situation where everyone is a great player,” Westmeyer said. “I am looking forward to it. And they (Bellarmine) play a great schedule.”
Wundavalli, the daughter of Vidya and Padma Wundavalli, is proof that talented athletes come in all sizes.
She will play for the Indiana University East women’s soccer program after helping Troy to a 10-5-4 record this past season.
While Wundavalli may be diminutive in size, she more than makes up for it with her heart, desire and speed.
She had eight goals and two assists from her midfield position this past season.
“I always wanted to play soccer in college,” Wundavalli said. “I just wasn’t sure it was going to work out at a school who had the academic program I was looking for.”
For Wundavalli, the focus in making a college choice was education and Indiana University East ended up being the perfect fit for the student athlete.
“Indiana University East has a great academic program,” she said. “And a really strong nursing program.”
And Wundavalli looks forward to the challenge of life as a student-athlete.
“It will be a challenge,” she said. “Especially, with being in the nursing program and playing soccer both. I am looking forward to it.”
After both athletes showed throughout their high school careers that talented athletes come in all sizes.