The so-called summer break connecting Ali Line’s switch from high school to college is measured in hours rather than days.
After graduating from Center Grove High School on May 30, the former volleyball standout was required to be at Illinois State University the following day to begin preseason conditioning with her Redbirds teammates.
“It was a really quick turnaround. It would have been nice to maybe get a week break,” Line, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter who earned Daily Journal Player of the Year honors as a senior, said with a laugh.
“But I was excited to go. I love it here. It’s been great.”
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There are 18 student-athletes from Johnson County high schools putting in the time to condition their bodies before starting their freshmen seasons at NCAA Division I colleges.
Along the way athletes have encountered everything from intensified physical conditioning to bouts of homesickness. Another transition has been a need for improved time management skills.
Playing a fall sport forced Line, a nursing major, to immediately become acclimated with the Normal, Illinois, campus.
She’s taking two classes (worth six credit hours) in order to lighten her academic workload once the Redbirds open the season at Miami (Florida) on Aug. 28.
Illinois State volleyball players do strength training Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and spend Tuesdays and Thursdays on aerobic conditioning.
“The workouts have been at a higher level (than high school). It’s just more demanding,” Line said.
Jess Admire, a Franklin graduate and Daily Journal Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, can relate.
An incoming freshman for Butler University’s volleyball program, Admire gets her first sampling of Division I opposition when the Bulldogs travel to the University of Wyoming for a tournament on Aug. 28 and 29.
The 5-10 outside hitter works out with her Bulldogs teammates at 6:40 a.m. three days a week and takes part in volleyball open gyms in Hinkle Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Admire also takes an online class that will give her a three-credit-hour head start before moving into her dorm Aug. 9.
Driving to campus six days a week, 35 minutes each way, in itself is demanding. But Admire loves that she’s getting closer each day to realizing her dream of being a Division I athlete.
“I expected it to be harder, but it’s what you have to do so it’s worth it. I’m looking forward to playing matches at Hinkle Fieldhouse. I was running sprints there Wednesday morning and totally dying. But at one point I was looking around and … it’s the coolest place,” said Admire, a biology major.
“It’s fun, but also a lot harder than anything I’ve ever done before. I love every single girl on this team. They’re just awesome people.”
Even winter season athletes, including former Franklin swimmer Adam Destrampe and Center Grove girls basketball player Regan Wentland, already are in tune with what’s expected of them.
Destrampe will major in biology and swim distance freestyle at Indiana University. He hasn’t drastically modified workouts since placing third in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500 free at the IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals in February.
“It’s been about the same as it is every summer, the only difference being that I drive to IU every Wednesday and Saturday morning to train for two hours,” Destrampe said.
“I really enjoy training with people who are at the same pace or faster than me. It’s more fun.”
Destrampe trains in the Franklin pool from 7 to 10 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays and from 8 to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Meanwhile, the 6-1 Wentland, the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year this past season, already is familiar with the Indiana State University campus, having stayed there from June 6 to July 2.
Wentland kept plenty busy in Terre Haute between taking classes (six credit hours) and working with her Sycamores teammates. She would be in class until 2:15 p.m. most days, then walk to the ISU Arena for workouts followed by an open gym.
While home, Wentland lifts weights, runs and gets in some time shooting baskets at Center Grove.
“Coming back and working out by yourself is obviously harder, especially with running because you don’t have someone there pushing you to go faster,” said Wentland, who returns to Indiana State for good on Aug. 16.
“I’m not going to lie; the first couple of days (at ISU) I was so homesick. It was awful. But then I started making new friends, and I love it down there.”
Graduates from Johnson County high schools who next month begin their careers as student-athletes for NCAA Division I programs
Conner Andersen;Center Grove;Ball State;Tennis
Mallory Baker;Center Grove;Purdue;Softball
Michael Benkert;Center Grove;Belmont;Basketball
Chase Bettner;Center Grove;Miami of Ohio;Swimming
Austin Crowder;Center Grove;IUPUI;Golf
Logan Cobb;Indian Creek;Indiana State;Track and field
Brock Exline;Center Grove;Stetson;Soccer
Britnee Gilbert;Center Grove;Memphis;Soccer
Evan Giles;Franklin;Indiana State;Baseball
Hanna Johnson;Center Grove;Indiana;Soccer
Ali Line;Center Grove;Illinois State;Volleyball
Tori Long;Center Grove;Davidson;Track and field
Griffin Miller;Center Grove;IUPUI;Cross-country
Taylor Pennington;Center Grove;Indiana;Track and field
Caroline Sheehan;Center Grove;Cincinnati;Swimming
Regan Wentland;Center Grove;Indiana State;Basketball