Villanova volleyball star earns St. Clair College scholarship

 

By Jonathan Martin

Opportunity has sent a hard spike toward a local volleyball player and she isn’t about to let it pass her by.

Villanova student Madison Trotter signed on to play for the St. Clair College women’s volleyball team during a signing ceremony March 8.

Head coach of the St. Clair College women's volleyball team Jimmy El-Turk (right) explains the contents of a player contract to Villanova student Madison Trotter in Villanova's auditorium on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.  Trotter signed on to play as a setter for the St. Clair Saints while she attends the college to study pre-health sciences. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Head coach of the St. Clair College women’s volleyball team Jimmy El-Turk (right) explains the contents of a player contract to Villanova student Madison Trotter in Villanova’s auditorium on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Trotter signed on to play as a setter for the St. Clair Saints while she attends the college to study pre-health sciences. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

The agreement includes a $1,200 grant toward each semester’s tuition. Trotter plans to use that money to attend the college’s pre-health program. From there, she hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps to work as a nurse.

Her father, Michael Trotter, is also the one who got her involved with volleyball. He has refereed the sport for around 35 years.

“She’s gone to a lot of my matches and that’s what got her interested,” he said. “She started getting involved at around eight-years-old and participated in some of my clinics.”

As she got older, Trotter started playing travel with the South County Bandits. When she reached high school, she joined the Villanova Wildcats under head coach Deb McMahon.

“This past summer I got a job at a hair salon and I’m a receptionist there, so when the high school volleyball started I was juggling high school volleyball, travel volleyball, work and school,” said Trotter. “It was hard sometimes, but when it’s something you love you’ve got to find a way to make it work.”

McMahon said players like Trotter are a rarity.

“They come cyclically,” she said. “You get one in a million after a couple years, but hopefully some girls will be inspired, work hard like she did and learn to fill her shoes.”

McMahon has been Villanova’s head volleyball coach for 15 years. Trotter is the third student to sign for a post-secondary scholarship since her tenure began. Maria Carlini earned an NCAA Division I scholarship to the University of Wisconsin in 2003 and Samantha Sutton preceded Trotter in being picked up by St. Clair College last year.

St. Clair College women’s volleyball head coach Jimmy El-Turk started working at the college in May of 2015, so Trotter is the first local athlete he has personally brought onto the Saints.

“It’s exciting for me to find such a skilled player so close to home,” he said. “She’s been playing a long time and you can tell her ability to set and manage the offence is very good.”

El-Turk said in order to keep her scholarship, Trotter will have to maintain a grade point average of 2.0, which translates to 60 per cent or a C-.

Trotter said she’s used to juggling academics and extra-curriculars, so she isn’t worried.

“I’m often up studying until 1 a.m.,” she said. “Some nights I go from school to practice, to work and then back to travel practice until 10 o’clock at night.”

Once she graduates, though, Trotter said she’ll be done with the sport.

After college, Trotter decided she wants to direct her focus completely toward helping others as a registered nurse.

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