Synek’s Time Management a Key to Volleyball Success

April 05, 2016

BY: Mike Richardson

Caitlyn Synek Exercise Science MajorThe University of Mount Union’s volleyball team looks to continue their success next season behind relentless and hard-working junior, Caitlyn Synek ’17. Coming from a small school in the Greater Cleveland area, Caitlyn knows how close a small community like Mount Union can be.

“One reason why I chose Mount Union was because I’m from a small high school and I knew a smaller school would be a better fit for me in regards to class sizes and being able to establish relationships with professors.”

She continued her love story of the school, describing how beautiful the campus has become since her she first arrived. The head volleyball coach at the time thought that Caitlyn was the complete package and the right fit for the Raiders. “Once the volleyball coach showed interest in me, it was the icing on the cake and Mount became my new home,” said Synek.

She realized that athletics was not the only reason why she was there. Many student athletes know that the word "student" comes before the word "athlete", which she takes to heart and thrives off of a busy schedule.

“The busier I am, the better time management I have as crazy as that sounds,” Synek said. “I’m the type of person who lives and dies by their planner. It definitely helps to write everything down and make to-do lists throughout the week.”

“It has been a learning experience, but after multiple years of being both a student and athlete, I’ve mastered staying up to speed with everything.”

Synek, an exercise science major, proved the previous statement by earning a spot on the Academic All-OAC team in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons with a 3.65 grade-point average. On and off the court as a leader on the team, she sets an example and makes it clear that they can come to her for help.

Synek has been a part of the college experience for the past three years and was asked if there was any advice for incoming student-athletes.

“My advice to any student-athlete entering college would be to keep pushing and keep striving no matter what,” she said. “Some days you’re busy from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. School is stressful, homework and tests pile up, and then you have practice on top of it. High school sports do not compare to the demands you will have to meet as a collegiate athlete. When you feel like you can’t catch a break, work harder. I promise, it will pay off in the end.”

Synek has also volunteered with students of Alliance area elementary schools by participating in Reading with the Raiders through Second and Seven.

Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. See more stories on social media using #UMUD3Week or #D3Week.

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