Sophomore middle hitter Marcelina Glab traveled a long distance – 22 hours by car – to play volleyball for the Washington State Cougars, but the trip all the way from South Dakota was well worth the opportunity to play Pac-12 volleyball.
Glab comes from a soccer family and played soccer as a child, eventually getting into volleyball in elementary school.
“Well I always played soccer, my family is a soccer family,” Glab said. “But then I started to realize I was a lot taller than everyone else. So I kind of got started in elementary school, but not very seriously. I started playing club (volleyball) my freshman year of high school. I continued with that and really enjoyed it and decided I wanted to have a future in volleyball. So I stared kind of late, but I like that.”
So why WSU? Why a school so far separated from her hometown of Watertown, S.D.?
“Andrew Palileo, the former coach, was actually my club coach at South Dakota State, but even before then I’d always dreamed of playing in the Pac-10,” Glab said. “(The Pac-10/12) was the best volleyball conference in the country. I always thought it was so farfetched, but then I started getting recruiting offers and I realized that I could play at that level. So when he got the job offer her,e I was excited to come out here and get the opportunity.”
She said she always wanted to kind of shy away from her hometown in South Dakota, and it was a perfect opportunity to do just that.
The Pullman and school atmospheres have helped Glab with the transition from home.
“I really like the community and all their support. It’s made it an easy transition,” Glab said. “I’ve had so many people come up to me after games and say things like ‘you did great, I enjoyed watching you,’ and that’s just so awesome to hear. I always wanted to go somewhere bigger than where I was from, maybe have a mall and go shopping, so I really like it here. I’m happy with my decision to come out here.”
Being a sophomore, Glab was one of the few players on the team who experienced the coaching transition that took place between last year and this year.
“The coaching staff made it really easy,” Glab said. “I was really nervous, especially being a middle. A lot of the schools in the Pac-12 don’t run a very middle-oriented offense. The first time we met with Jen (Greeny), she kind of put us at ease. They were really welcoming and helped us transition very well. I knew I could buy into their program, knowing what they were doing and obviously that’s paid off and it’s turning out better than last season.”
After experiencing last season with zero conference wins as well as this year with three conference wins through only three weekends of conference play, Glab sees the differences in the team that have helped the turnaround.
“I think it’s a combination of both (the coaching change and talent),” Glab said. “I feel like they are very strong believers in ‘we can do it,’ which really helped instill the same feeling in the players heads that, ‘yeah, we can do it.’ They’re more positive, have a lot more positive feedback, which makes you feel good. Now we’ve been put to the test and we know that we can succeed. If we can keep building with that, we can be right there in the conference.”
Her favorite part of playing the sport is blocking, which would explain the origins of her favorite career volleyball moment.
“There was a recruit in my class, she was the No. 1 recruit in that class and she went to USC,” Glab said. “We were playing (USC) at home, and it was our first conference weekend my freshman year. I was playing right side and she went up to go swing and I blocked her like three plays in a row. To know that I just blocked the No. 1 recruit from my class was just awesome and the crowd was just pumped.”
Next up for Glab and the rest of the Cougar volleyball team is a weekend set on Friday and Saturday against Stanford and California, respectively. Both games will start at 7 p.m.