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You May Have to Look East | Written by Jim Saari

Many of you probably have not contemplated the possiblity of heading eastward to attend college. You live here out west, your family and friends are here, you like it out here. Why can't I just get a volleyball scholarship at some school out here? Some of you will (and I do not want to discourage anybody from trying) but the odds are against it if an athletic scholarship is your goal.

The ratio of available scholarship slots east of the Rockies, in comparison to the west, is 10:1. The ratio of slots east of the Misssissippi is roughly 8:1. So the sheer numbers are working against you obtaining a college volleyball scholarship in the western United States.

There are other factors working against you also. California has the most volleyballs scholarship slots but it also has the most volleyball clubs, including some of the best clubs in the nation. Many of these clubs have tie-ins with the local universities-their coaches coach both with the club and with the college. Many California college coaches see no reason to look out of state for their recruits. These tie-in relationships also exist in population centers like Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix. The local universities recruit largely from the local clubs. Many colleges in the eastern USA do not have strong area club teams for these "automatic" recruits. There are also more volleyball slots than the clubs can fill.

Think about this, in Nevada there are 2 NCAA volleyball playing schools that offer scholarships- UNR and UNLV for a total of 24 scholarship slots. Take a state like Ohio. It has 12 NCAA Division 1 schools that offer scholarships. That, if my math is correct, is 288 slots just in D1. They also have 29 other schools that offer some athletic aid for volleyball (in DII, DIII, and NAIA). And that's not counting the junior colleges. And there are other states with similar collegiate athletic profiles.

Again, I don't want to discourage anybody from trying to get a scholarship at the school they want to attend. All I'm saying is that many of you may do well to consider heading east if getting a volleyball scholarship is your goal.