Sammy Condon: A leader on and off the court

By Ally Racey

The Oakland women’s volleyball team is projected to repeat their success this season after winning the Horizon League and appearing in the NCAA tournament last season.

One of the team’s top players who helped lead the team last season, Sammy Condon, is returning back to the court as a redshirt sophomore.

Last season, Condon was captain of the team and was named to the all-league team.

“It is such an honor. It is amazing that my team trusts me and believes in me enough to name me a captain,” Condon said.

The Illinois-native started playing volleyball in grade school. She participated in camps in fifth grade and began club volleyball in seventh grade.

Condon’s best friend led her in the right direction to play volleyball when she was younger.

“She dragged me along to some camps and then I instantly fell in love with the sport,” Condon said.

As she became more competitive and experienced, Condon played for organizations including her high school team and Sports Performance Volleyball Club in Aurora, Illinois. The organization didn’t allow Condon to play any other sports because they wanted her to focus only on volleyball.

She attended Naperville Central High School before she chose to further her volleyball career miles away at Oakland University.

Before her decision to become a Golden Grizzly, other universities like University of Illinois-Chicago, Bowling Green State University and Evansville were interested in Condon.

Condon said the awesome campus, coaches and team is what ultimately led her to Oakland.

“I can’t wait to be back spending all my time with my teammates,” Condon said. “We have such a funny group of girls and always are laughing and goofing around and it’s nonstop fun.”

As captain of the team, Condon explained that a leader puts their team’s needs before their own. She said they strive to serve others and do things in the best interest of others and people trust them enough to lead them in the right direction.

“It’s such a team sport. There are so many important parts to the team and everyone is involved in every single play,” Condon said.

She thinks that’s one thing that sets volleyball apart from every other sport.

Now as a college student, Condon’s only focus isn’t just on the sport she loves.

Condon is majoring in elementary education and minoring in language arts and mathematics.

Last season, the team finished with a record of 22-10. Condon said it was amazing that all of the team’s hard work paid off in the end.

“It was so rewarding. Every day we were in the gym working hard for the same goal,” Condon said.

According to Condon, the team has similar goals for this season, but they plan on pushing themselves harder and further.

“We just want to get in the gym everyday and work hard and we know that we will get the outcome we hope for in the end.”

The team will start practicing Aug. 10 in preparation for their first contest on Aug. 28 against West Virginia at The University of Michigan.