By Torin Ives
A lifelong goal of winning a national title lead Autumn Severn to take her love for volleyball to the next level and join the Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team. With some hard work and determination, that title is well within reach.
Severn, 19, of New Lothrop, Michigan, has been playing volleyball her whole life.
“My sister played and she introduced it (to me) at a young age,” Severn said. “I started playing club and school volleyball in junior high.”
Growing up with the sport led her to become very dedicated and willing to work hard. Severn said she decided to play for GRCC after seeing all that the school could offer her.
“I heard about the school and decided to contact the coach (Chip Will),” Severn said. “When we were going on a visit, (Will was) showing me around and I could just tell it was a huge family atmosphere and I love that. Just all the experiences that GRCC could give me really led me to choosing the school.”
Severn has enjoyed her time at GRCC and said she is quite happy with her choice to play for the Raiders.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Severn said. “I’ve made so many friends my first and second year combined and all the trips we’ve been on, it’s really brought us closer. Honestly, I would regret it if I picked any other school.”
Being a sophomore this year, Severn is hoping this is the year for a national title. The determination is there, so what else might the team need in order to reach that postseason run? Severn says it’s “just non-stop working and giving our best in the gym.”
In addition to her athletic skill, Severn achieves impressive grades in school. Motivation can be a struggle for many students, but Severn seems to have more than enough and will not stop until she gets what she wants.
“I feel like right now the motivation is honestly just wanting to get that national title,” Severn said. “It’s something I wanted coming in and it’s part of the reason why I chose this school. I think this gave me the best chance and the best team to get me there too. With studies, that’s always been something really important to me because I know that sports don’t necessarily last forever, so studies (are) a huge part of succeeding too.”
Severn also contributes her motivation to succeed to her family who have always been very supportive of her.
“They’ve always stood behind me and every decision I’ve made,” Severn said. “They’re there in the stands at every single game, and I don’t even live near Grand Rapids. So for them to make the two-hour drive every single game… means the world to me.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 11:50 p.m. to update the cover photo.