The American Jock has been a permanent staple in American pop culture, giving athletes a bad rap for not being the smartest cookies. With films of football players stuffing kids in lockers or a basketball star who failed all of his classes, athletes tend to get preconceived notions about their intelligence. However, volleyball players have managed to break the jock mold by holding some of the highest GPAs of any school’s sports programs, winning All-Academic awards. But it’s no surprise given the amount of dedication and hard work that elite-level volleyball players have developed in their crafts.
One such athlete currently playing in the NVA for the new Chicago Untouchables is Saint Francis Libero Ryan Alu. His excellence in the classroom has always matched his success as a libero. With a 4.2 GPA while at Central Bucks West High School, Ryan also carried his team through two conference championships earning himself two All-League team selections. Also playing club with Infinity Volleyball Academy, Ryan was selected for the regional High-Performance Program of USA Volleyball with the Future Select and Select teams. Being able to excel when the pressure is an invaluable trait that Ryan uses to get the best out of every opportunity he has had with Volleyball.
Doing the unthinkable to others at a four-year degree, Ryan obtained a TRIPLE MAJOR degree in BS Computer Science, BS Cyber Security, and BS Mathematics. He was even involved in over six extracurricular clubs and was even Vice President of his class this last year. His perseverance and work ethic at St. Francis has genuinely been an outstanding accomplishment leading the school to write an expose on all of his achievements thus far! https://www.francis.edu/Ryan-Alu/
“The most beneficial thing volleyball has done for me is give me confidence in myself. In athletics, your ability as a player is always in question and always being tested. That pressure is mentally and emotionally taxing and only the players that cease to quit and keep the joy of the game in their heart will develop the confidence in themselves to overcome any difficult obstacle.” – Ryan Alu.
In his first professional season with the NVA, Ryan made a statement to the league when he was named the Best Libero of the 2020 Championship Tournament. As a vocal leader in the backcourt, Ryan was instrumental in keeping the defense composed and ensuring his attackers are always covered at the net. Not to mention his impeccable reaction times and analysis on serve receive to get himself in the best position to make a perfect pass. His superb hand-eye coordination probably has a lot to do with the skills he developed as a member of his school’s eSports team. He even once held the two-year world record for the speed run in Super Smash Bros.
Any team would be lucky to have an accomplished and intelligent player like Ryan. The Chicago Untouchables are ready to make the best out of their new team this year. The NVA is just as excited to have a player with the same resilient passion for growing professional Volleyball in the United States. To get weekly social media updates on Ryan’sRyan’s journey this season, you can follow him (@ryan.alu), the NVA (@nvausa), and the Chicago Untouchables (@untouchables_nvausa) on Instagram and Facebook as well as their website (https://untouchables.nvausa.com/). As always, fans can check out the NVA on YouTube to catch reruns of Ryan’s 2020 Championship performance with the Tennessee Tyrants as well as find live-stream coverage for all upcoming events starting April 23rd.