UAIS Students Sign as College Athletes

Allison Griffiths, Reporter

Ava Thielman, during a tennis tournament. Photo Credits: MI Prep Zone

Early November is a busy and exciting time for many. College applications are wrapping up, the first quarter is ending, many assignments and projects are due, and winter sports are beginning. This is an especially exciting time for three UAIS seniors who signed the National Letter of Intent on November 9, to play a college sport. Julia Malewicz signed to play volleyball at Wayne State University, Ava Thielman signed to play tennis at Michigan State University, and Ashley Beatty signed for gymnastics at Western Michigan University.

Senior Julia Malewicz hitting a volleyball in a game. Photo credits: MI PrepZone

All three student athletes have a passion for their sport. “I love the thrill of playing and competing,” said volleyball player Julia Malewicz. “I couldn’t see myself not playing,” she said, when asked why she decided to play in college.

It is a tough decision to decide which school to play for. Ava Thielman said “I didn’t think any other colleges were a good fit for me. [Michigan] State is good academically and athletically.”

Balancing school, homework and any extra-curricular is a challenge in itself for any high school student. However, balancing a rigorous school schedule on top of an intense practice and game schedule is even a greater challenge. Julia Malewicz shared that making lists and writing down everything has helped her balance all her work. “There have been a lot of late nights, but it’s worth it,” she says. Many of these time management skills and study habits that these students have developed will be useful throughout college.

Senior Ashley Beatty (right) on signing day with teammate and UAIS junior Mallory Mizuki (left). Photo Credits: Ashley Beatty

Many college student-athletes have a difficult time balancing their college courses with their college athletic schedule. When asked about how her college schedule will differ from her high school schedule, Ashley Beatty said,“College is more lenient and practices fit into your schedule.” The rigorous schedule at UAIS has definitely prepared these student-athletes for college.

Seniors Ava Thielman (left) and Julia Malewicz (right) pose for a picture on signing day in the media center. Photo Credits: Izabela Malewicz

There is a lot of excitement coming up for these student-athletes. Ava Thielman said, “I am most looking forward to being part of a team because I have always played individual in tournaments.” For Ashley Beatty, “I am looking forward to competing in new places and traveling with my team.” Additionally, for Julia Malewicz, “I am looking forward to the competitiveness. College volleyball is different from high school volleyball. I am excited to finally say “I am a college athlete.”

All three girls have worked extremely hard maintaining their school, work, and athletics. They will always have the UAIS family cheering them on and watching them excel in college. It is going to be an exciting experience for these college athletes. Go Warriors! Go Spartans! Go Broncos!