Passion drives Deatsch, on and off court

By Ally Racey

One of Oakland University’s top players on the women’s volleyball team, Melissa Deatsch, has already had some honorable moments this season.

Deatsch, a junior on the team, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the University of Michigan Invite. She also posted 20 kills in the match against Dartmouth Sept. 19.

“I would place her willingness to play libero for a number of matches while we were searching for our best possible line-up above those. It shows her selflessness and dedication to our team and program,” head coach Rob Beam said. 

Melissa has been playing volleyball since she was nine. She played for a club team called First Alliance Volleyball Club and her high school varsity team in Elmhurst, Illinois.  

“Even from a young age, I knew I wanted to play in college,” Deatsch said.   

Beam knew she was going to play at the college level, too. He had been recruiting Deatsch from a young age. 

Deatsch is a tremendous asset to the volleyball team, but she is also a student, pursuing a career in journalism.

“Clearly she is also very smart and highly capable academically.  I enjoy reading her work and believe that she has a bright future ahead in journalism,” Beam said.

Outside of volleyball and her studies, Deatsch enjoys attending other sporting events at OU. 

“I like watching our sports and supporting my university, and my friends,” Deatsch said.

She also dedicates some of her extra free time writing stories for the Oakland Post. 

“When I entered college, I originally thought I knew I wanted to do broadcast journalism. After I found out the campus TV station didn’t work with my volleyball schedule, I decided to try out the Oakland Post to gain experience, and ended up loving it,” Deatsch said. 

She said she manages her busy life by staying organized and using her time wisely. 

“I actually tend to end up with better grades during the fall because I am in volleyball season and procrastination is never even an option,” Deatsch said.

Deatsch said it’s not too bad being away from home because her family is very supportive and they make it to a lot of her games.

Along with her family, her coach is supportive, too.

“To me it is natural to both expect someone like Melissa who wants to be a journalist to seek out work opportunities in that field while she is in our program and support her in doing so,” Beam said. “Players like her are rare and have huge value in terms of stabilizing the court and providing consistency throughout all six rotations.”

It is easy to see that Deatsch is passionate about volleyball, her team, her education, and everything else involved in her busy life. Beam said off the court, her silly side comes out. But when she’s competing, she’s very serious and replaces humor with intensity.

“She brings a “grittiness” to the court that is essential for our success as a team. I, and everyone in our program, count on her to be out in front leading the charge,” Beam said. 

Deatsch and the rest of the Oakland women’s volleyball team travel to Indiana Oct. 2 to compete against Valparaiso.