Courtesy Athletic Communications
Volleyball wasn’t her dad’s choice of sport for her, but what parent can complain about a full-tuition ride?
Marcelina Glab started out her sports career playing her father’s favorite sport, soccer, but soon realized volleyball fit her better. Now a junior middle hitter on WSU’s women’s volleyball team, she doesn’t regret the decision she made years ago.
Back then, Glab’s friends had left soccer to pursue other sports, and Glab, not wanting to be left behind, chose to follow suit.
Okay, maybe her height had something to do with the decision, too.
“I was way too tall to play soccer,” the 6-foot-2-inch Glab joked. “I figured (volleyball) was more suitable for my height.”
After the move away from soccer, Glab played basketball and volleyball. But volleyball eventually became the sport that stuck, carrying her through high school in Watertown, South Dakota, and on to college.
“I liked the chemistry of having to work as a team,” Glab said. “In basketball and soccer you can kind of take control, if you wanted to you could just dribble down and go for a layup. In volleyball, it requires your teammates.”
It’s the combination of individual performance and team cohesiveness to have a competitive edge in volleyball that intrigues Glab.
“There’s some aspects I still have control of, like my blocking and stuff like that,"Glab said."But as far as offense, I have to rely on my passers and my setters. It’s just fun being able to have connections like that and be successful with the help of your teammates.”
Once Glab grew into her tall body in high school, she decided to pursue the club volleyball route, eventually landing on a team with former WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo.
However, one obstacle still stood in her way of playing volleyball - her basketball coach. Glab’s coach told her if she played volleyball, he would no longer play her.
Glab decided to play volleyball anyway, convincing her parents there was no conflict.
“I continued to sneak behind my basketball coach’s back,"she said."I thought he didn’t know, but he definitely knew."
During her sophomore year in high school, Glab received her first interest letter for volleyball from California. Cal’s interest convinced her she had the potential to play at the next level.
What led Glab to eventually choose WSU was a combination of playing time, being familiar with then coach Palileo and the similarities between Pullman and her hometown.
“(Pullman) is similar to the town I grew up in, it’s not very big,” Glab said. “Although the town I grew up in wasn’t a college town, it was similar in how the community was so involved in athletics. It just made me feel more at home and like I wasn’t 1,200 miles away.”
This season has brought early success for Glab and the rest of the Cougar volleyball team. She currently sits at second in the Pac-12 for blocks and is in the top-ten nationally for the same metric.
“For me, I think the success just came from being coachable and doing exactly what my coaches say. Little do you know they actually know what they’re talking about,” Glab joked. “It’s funny, it’s that simple. Just do what they say and you’ll see success.”
The journey from the soccer pitch to Bohler Gym has been a long time in the making, and now she is enjoying her time being a Coug.
“I like the sense that we’re kind of the underdogs,” Glab said. “People always overlook us. I like proving people wrong. So I like coming out and showing people that we’re definitely up there and we definitely can compete with the top teams in the nation.”