By Chris Slone
Volleyball can be a fun hobby to play in the backyard at family functions or barbeques. But don’t tell that to Madisyn Dillow, who has devoted her life to the game and, in turn, plans on using the game to make her career.
The West senior, who has enjoyed a successful junior and senior campaign, is already looking at furthering her playing career at the next level. Dillow has been looking at Shawnee State University and Kentucky Christian University.
“They’re both really good schools and I’m just wanting to further my volleyball career,” Dillow said.
However, Dillow’s plan doesn’t just include collegiate volleyball. She plans on majoring in pre childhood education and becoming a volleyball coach once her playing days are finished. Dillow is already building a coaching resume as she has been helping a fifth grade team in Piketon called the Volleyvibers.
“Volleyball is my escape,” Dillow said. “It’s the one thing that helps me escape from everything. It’s always been there and it always will be. I don’t want to see that go away. I just want to further myself and become more advanced then I already am.”
Dillow, who began playing the game with her family in the backyard of their house, loves the competitiveness of the sport and how close it brings a group of people together.
I love the intensity of it, it’s different from any other sport,” Dillow said. “You get to be with your team 24-7 and just talk, and honestly, that’s what it all comes down too, just being a team. I have such a great relationship with my team. The competitiveness and intensity of the game, and just being around good people.
“The impact the girls have had on me is unreal. They’re not just my teammates, they’re my family. My coach (Brittany Sessor), she has furthered me so much.”
Dillow transferred to West her sophomore year after spending her freshman season in North Carolina. However, due to personal reasons, Dillow was unable to play during her sophomore campaign.
Despite not being able to play, Dillow still had a profound influence on the team.
“I went to every practice,” Dillow said. “I learned from their mistakes. I did everything they had to do. The coach said, ‘Madisyn you don’t have to do this.’ I said I’m doing this because it’s my team. Even if I don’t get to play, it’s my team and I will do it.”
Once she returned to the court during her junior year, Dillow was on a mission to make up for lost time.
“Every practice and every game I gave it my all,” Dillow said. “I kept thinking of me sitting on that bench. I just used that has motivation. I never gave up. I never let it bring me down, it actually brought me up. I promised I wouldn’t let that happen and it didn’t. We had a really good record last year and this year its even better. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without these girls and my coach.”
Dillow credits her teammates for the person she has become — on and off the court.
“You think about the meaningful things. I came in, these girls didn’t even know me and they made me a different person,” Dillow said. “I’ve grown as a person. I’ve become more mature and more blessed about what I do have. These girls have made me who I am as a player and an athlete. These girls have pushed me and they always will, especially my coach and I want to thank them for that.”
She is also thankful for her support system.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my family and the support system I do have,” Dillow said. “They come to everything. They’ve always been there and that’s a big part of it. I do have a great support system and I always will.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.