TOPEKA (KSNT) – Allison Sadler is in her fifth season with the Washburn volleyball team.
“I will never get this opportunity again to play on this team, and it’s something I think about every single day,” Sadler said.
Sadler is balancing playing in one of the country’s top volleyball programs with law school. When she’s not on the court, she’s reading. She’s always reading.
“I didn’t know how it was going to work out, to be honest with you,” head volleyball coach Chris Herron said. “I didn’t know how she would manage the whole thing.”
This type of academic and athletic balance is not easy.
“If I’m not here, I’m studying,” Sadler said. “If I’m not studying, I’m probably sleeping at night. That’s basically the constant cycle that I go in.”
It got the best of her last year. Sadler made the tough decision to leave Ichabod volleyball.
“School, and my education, isn’t something I take lightly at all, obviously, because I’m doing both right now,” she said. “When it started to get bad in school, I knew that needed to be my priority. Coach was really understanding.”
The team supported her.
“We missed her a lot,” setter Alaina Dunlavy said. “We missed her as a teammate, and as a player. As a friend, as well. We didn’t really get to see her as much, hardly at all, so we missed having her around and her energy around.”
That break ended up only lasting a few weeks.
“It has just really been a gamechanger,” Sadler said. “I think taking that step back allowed me to see how much I really do love this game. I lost sight of that at first. When I came back, I just had a completely new outlook on this game and life, in general, I would say.”
This season, Sadler is the starting setter, an All-MIAA first-team member, and recorded her 3,000th career assist.
“She’s running the show,” Herron said. “She’s our quarterback. She’s the catcher, so we kind of go where she goes. It’s been pretty good so far.”
Sadler’s playing days will be over after this season, but she plans to stay around the team through law school.
“I don’t think my heart will ever be gone from this program,” she said. “It’s just the best time being with them.”