Sun. Jun 26th, 2022
Sasha (right) visits her future teammates at a recent Duke University volleyball game. She will be attending Duke on scholarship in the fall.

Volleyball has always been a big part of life for Sasha Karelov, senior. Her hard work is finally paying off.

Sasha received a full scholarship to Duke University and verbally committed in January of 2012.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Duke,” said Karelov. “The coach [Jolene Nagel] has been scouting me since freshman year. I wasn’t allowed to commit to the school until I got a 3.3 GPA, and I finally did that after first semester of junior year. The coach called me on January 27, and that’s when I verbally committed. I sign in November.”

Karelov was introduced to volleyball at the age of seven. It was a big part of her family – her older sister began playing at the age of twelve, around the same time Sasha was introduced. Her mother is an avid volleyball player and coach, and was also introduced when she was young. She played for Belaruse in the Soviet Union. Her mother helped to encourage her to play.

At 11, Sasha played on her first travel team at Triangle Volleyball Club. She has played with them for seven years. “I’ve always played up an age group,” says Karelov. “This is my last year I can play with this club, and I’m going to play with the 18s group again.”

Sasha has also been on the Varsity volleyball team for Leesville since her freshman year. “I enjoyed being a hitter on the varsity team. During club season, I’m a libero so I don’t get to hit. In high school I was able to play the ‘outside’ position.” The current record for the varsity team is 4-0.

Until her senior year, the Duke coach was only allowed limit contact with Sasha. “Now, she can call me once a week,” she said. “I can email her and she can email me back.”

The season is currently going on, so she is able to visit the school often and go to the games. She went on a visit last year and has met all of her future teammates. As long as she keeps up her GPA, her scholarship is guaranteed.

“I really look forward to representing this college and meeting other athletes. I want to build relationships with other people who are like me and serious about their sport.”


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