As several Rams from various sports prepare to walk at graduation May 13, they reflected on their time at VCU and how they’re preparing for the future after being a collegiate athlete.
Volleyball: Kalah Jones
Senior volleyball outside hitter Kalah Jones’ career in the Black and Gold uniform may have ended last season, but the Fayetteville, Georgia native’s time on the court is not over.
Back in March, her club coach contacted Jones about going to The University of Alabama, Birmingham in the fall for graduate school to play beach volleyball doubles.
“I told the coaches from day one that I’ve never played beach a day in my life and they’re like ‘It’s fine’ and I was like ‘OK,’” Jones said. “I didn’t even think of playing (beach volleyball) to be honest.”
Jones played outside hitter for VCU for three years after transferring from Clemson University her sophomore year of college.
She was named All-Atlantic 10 Second Team for the third straight year, and spiked eight kills in the final match of her decorated VCU career. In three seasons, Jones recorded 1,118 kills, sixth-most in school history. She averaged 3.26 kills per set as a Ram, fourth-best all-time.
“The ultimate goal for almost any team here is to win a conference championship,” Jones said. “But other than that, the big teams we had to play against, to just go out and prove ourselves that we’re capable of playing at that level.”
After one season of beach volleyball at UAB, Jones is considering continuing her career overseas.
Basketball: Adaeze Alaeze
Senior women’s basketball guard Adaeze Alaeze was a four-year starter and made her 120th appearance for the Rams on Senior Night. The forward played over 2,800 minutes, scoring 1,026 points for the Black and Gold.
This season, Alaeze led the team in minutes played, points-per-game and scoring. The forward established a new career-high with 23 points against La Salle on Super Bowl Sunday.
Alaeze is an accounting major, and plans to get her masters in sports administration and eventually sit for the Certified Public Accountant. Alaeze is currently in the process of contacting basketball coaches to play overseas.
This year, the coaching staff implemented three key values: be on time, be kind and always be respectful.
After four years as a college athlete, Alaeze said the work ethic she developed and the ability to engage with large groups were some of the most valuable lessons she will take away from her experience and use for the rest of her life.
“My teammates have been with me through it all,” Alaeze said. “When you have a good group of people by your side to cherish those times and bonds, you build because without them, I wouldn’t have had the senior year without them.”
The Baltimore native hopes to return to the states to pursue a masters and become a financial planner for athletes.
Tennis: Michal Voscek
VCU senior Michal Voscek was named A-10 Men’s Tennis Most Outstanding Performer during his last season as a Ram.
Voscek is the second Ram to capture the A-10’s top honor. Voscek was also named All-Atlantic-10 First Team and received a spot on the conference’s All-Academic Team.
A native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Voscek led the Rams to the A-10 Tournament Championship with outstanding play on the No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles courts. Voscek was 17-7 on the singles courts this spring, including 16-7 at the No. 1 position.
In four seasons, he’s recorded 79 singles victories. He’s 33-16 on the No. 1 singles courts the past two seasons.
Voscek, a three-time ITA Scholar Athlete, is currently pursuing a graduate degree in urban and regional planning. He said his ultimate goal is to practice sustainable design and learn how to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Voscek spent his summers in different countries since a young age, which helped in adjusting to living and playing overseas.
Over the summer, Voscek will continue to play tennis in individual tournaments.
Voscek said he will miss every aspect of tennis, from the competition and friendships to the physicality.
“During the time I was here, you go through stages of ups and downs,” Voscek said. “When you’re down, different people help you. I had very nice memories during my time on the team.”
Staff Writer, Sophia Belletti
Sophia is a sophomore print/online journalism major with a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She enjoys writing about current events and sports and hopes to one day be a sports reporter, covering soccer, basketball and baseball. You can usually find Sophia drinking way too much coffee and laughing at her own jokes. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn