Alumni Tips

Check out some Q&A and helpful tips from Rockets Alumni.

Alyssa Klostermann
Alyssa Klostermann
Question: What has made you a successful volleyball player both at the club level and now in college?
Alyssa:What has made me successful in both club and college is sacrificing lots of my time and activities towards volleyball. This includes giving up lots of college related activities to help the team. Also it is dedicating yourself to your training and pushing yourself hard to get where you want to be physically and ability wise.
Question: What drives you to be the best?
Alyssa:What drives me to be the best is the success of my team. I know the saying is that it isn’t all winning, but in my case, it’s a lot about winning. Competitors shouldn’t have a losing mindset. Sure losing will happen, that’s part of the game, but its ones motivation, self-drive and focus that will make a team successful.
Question: If you could tell young girls one thing about working hard at sports and in the classroom what would it be?
Alyssa:Hard work pays off 100%, I believe it too. When it’s happening, sure the hard work is difficult and it may seem like a waste of time or useless, but in the end it makes you better. It makes you in better shape, improves your abilities, and makes you more of a competitor since you put in more hours. Get after your tasks and duties right away, whether it is schoolwork or volleyball. Don’t find yourself slacking off, but excel in all areas of your life. You’ll find yourself much more satisfied then.
Want to know more about Alyssa?Alyssa started with Iowa Rockets in 2010. She has traveled all over the United States to compete in many prestigious tournaments. Alyssa has been an Iowa Region Champion twice, USA National Qualifier Champion three times, and in 2013 Alyssa led her Iowa Rockets 18R team to a National Championship.  She was also named Captain of the All Tournament Team that year. Congratulations to Alyssa and keep up the great work with the Hawkeyes!

Haley Eckerman
Haley Eckerman
Question: When you step on the court you look so composed, how do you clear your head for a match and just focus on your team?
Haley:Before each game I tape my fingers and write on them the same way and same thing every time. This is my time for me to become calm and relaxed and is the start of getting into my routines.
Question: if you are having a rough game, how do you keep pushing forward and turn it around?
Haley:I think of why, and who I am playing for. I have aLive. Like. Line.bracelet on my water bottle, so I just think of her telling me never to give up.
Question: What has made you so successful on and off the court? You make it look so easy.
Haley:Its so hard to be successful in the sport of volleyball by yourself. I have improved so much each year with the help of my teammates, coaches, training staff, and my family. Just knowing that I can still get better motivates me to get better day by day.
Want to know more about Haley?Haley started playing for Iowa Rockets in 2009 through her senior year. She made the trip from Waterloo to Iowa City week after week for training, practices, and tournaments. Haley was an impact player throughout her high school career.  Then, recruited by University of Texas, Haley went on to become Big 12 Freshman of the Year and NCAA National Freshman of the Year. In her sophomore year she helped her Texas Longhorn team to a National Championship. Congratulations, Haley – we are so proud of  you!

Shelley Stumpff
Shelley Stumpff
Question: How did you know that Wingate was the right college choice for you?
Shelly:I knew Wingate was the right choice for me because it had so many things that I was looking for, not only on the volleyball end but just the school in general. I always knew I wanted to go somewhere warmer for college and with a successful volleyball program, and I definitely get both here.
Question: Was the recruiting process difficult for you?
Shelly:The recruiting process was a bit challenging for me just because I decided to start getting recruited later than most athletes. I didn’t start until the end of my junior year/summer going into senior year. Luckily for me I had an awesome coach from Rockets to help me the entire way through the process.
Question: What makes you so successful at all sports? How do you push yourself physically and mentally both on and off the court?
Shelly:I think that there were a lot of factors that kept me successful in my athletics in high school and even now at the collegiate level. First off, my teammates motivate me and make me want to always perform to the best of my ability. If you’re playing with people you respect and love hanging out with, it makes you want to work harder for them. Secondly, I have always had coaches I have wanted to work hard for because how they treated me and what they taught me. Lastly, I am a very competitive, spirited person and that kept me very motivated to always give 100% effort not only in games, but practices as well.
Question: If you could tell all the young girls that look up to you one thing what would it be?
Shelly:I would want to tell them that hard work really does pay off. If you are always busting your butt and giving 100% then your potential is endless.
Want to know more about Shelly?Shelly was a 3 sport varsity athlete in high school.  She started playing for Iowa Rockets in 2009 through her senior year. Her high school career included playing Rockets volleyball while winning a HS state basketball championship and a HS state volleyball championships and 2012 Iowa Player of the Year.  Her Rockets career included a Regional championship, top 3 Power League finish, and bronze medal at USA Volleyball Nationals. Her accolades continued in college as she was was the  SAC Conference and Region Freshman of the Year.