Camilla Ossola got here to Silver Lake from Italy to spend a 12 months as an change scholar.
And in that 12 months, he rediscovered his ardour for volleyball. Ossola will stay in the US to proceed her educational and athletic profession at Johnson County Neighborhood School.
Ossola helped Silver Lake to a 28-9 document with 223 kills and a team-high 62 blocks. He earned First Staff All Mid-East League honors.
“I had no concept the place Kansas was”
Ossola grew up in northern Italy. She had needed to return to the US to check since highschool.
He had been to the US twice together with his household earlier than coming to Silver Lake, Florida as soon as and New York and Washington, DC on his different journey. She wasn’t that accustomed to Kansas.
“I had no concept the place Kansas was,” Ossola stated. “(I did not know) something in any respect. I did not even comprehend it was an American state.”
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Ossola arrived final July per week or two earlier than fall courses began at Silver Lake. She felt welcome from the beginning.
Adjusting to the workload of the varsity, and even the brand new teammates on the volleyball workforce, was not as troublesome as the foundations.
“I grew up with out a number of guidelines right here,” Ossola stated in a Zoom name final week from Italy. “I can just about do no matter I need. I’ve a number of freedom. Once I acquired there, as an change scholar and as a youngster in highschool, they’d a number of guidelines and I had no concept about it.”
“They’ve a curfew. I by no means had a curfew in my life, and it was so bizarre. Like being residence at 9pm, I believed, ‘Are you kidding me? I get out at 9pm right here.'”
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Camilla Ossola rediscovers her ardour for volleyball
This was Ossola’s sixth 12 months enjoying volleyball. He didn’t know the way his talents can be transferred to the US. Italy has no faculty groups, solely membership groups.
The construction there meant he did not benefit from the sport as a lot, however he determined to provide it a go at Silver Lake.
“When you’re good there, you are simply enjoying on one of the best workforce, like varsity,” Ossola stated. “I hated volleyball a lot. Once I acquired right here (to Silver Lake), I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, please do not make me play volleyball once more,’ after which after I began enjoying, everybody made it enjoyable.”
Past initially assembly Ossola shortly earlier than the season started, Silver Lake coach Sarah Johnson’s first impressions of her on the court docket had been optimistic.
“I instantly noticed an athleticism in her,” Johnson stated. “She had first rate vertical and phenomenal arm motion. She additionally had a reasonably excessive volleyball IQ.”
Johnson was putting in a brand new system that he had not used previously that concerned coaching two new installers. Coaching them additional including a brand new workforce member was an adjustment that took time and communication.
“A time frame when Camilla actually took off, I keep in mind the Rossville event,” Johnson stated. “We had her in the midst of it. I watched her hit off the serve and obtain proper aspect, left aspect, and I believed, ‘God, she’s a risk regardless of the place she is within the entrance row.'”
A type of new setters was McKinley Kruger, who met Ossola earlier than the 12 months began when he confirmed up at registration.
“To start with, it was troublesome,” Kruger stated. “It took us some time to get on the identical web page, simply volleyball and communication. I needed to get used to phrases that she did not actually perceive or phrases that she did not actually perceive.”
However even earlier than volleyball observe began, Kruger knew that Ossola may play an necessary function on the workforce.
“A few us would go all the way down to the sand volleyball courts and simply play,” Kruger stated. “I picked her to be on my workforce this time, and she or he was completely getting the ball out of the sand. It is onerous to stand up and bounce that top within the sand and I used to be like, ‘Yeah, this lady goes to be good.'”
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Enjoying volleyball in America was totally different
Ossola stated teamwork and relationships had been highlighted. In Italy, he stated workforce members would change each six months and gamers had been extra involved with themselves on the pitch.
“Right here in highschool, you’ve got most likely recognized the identical individuals since elementary faculty and you then grew up with these individuals,” Ossola stated. “Everybody is aware of one another they usually know every part about one another, and I really like that.”
Ossola is shy by nature, extra quiet, reserved and targeted on the pitch. Johnson advised him that he must buck that pattern.
“She was proper,” Ossola stated. “Everybody was all the time speaking and yelling. It helped me so much to get out of my consolation zone and never be shy round individuals on the whole, not simply sports activities. Whereas enjoying volleyball in Italy, I used to be all the time indignant. If one thing went improper , I used to be indignant and blamed myself for every part and it wasn’t wholesome.
“Once I acquired to the States, it was all enjoyable. Nobody was like, ‘You probably did one thing improper. I am not going to speak to you.’ It was like, ‘No, that is positive. Simply shake it off. You may do it subsequent time. It is significantly better. “.
Together with her expertise on show early on, everybody from her host household, Megan and Cody Johnson, to her new buddies in Silver Lake, inspired her to use to US colleges to see if she may proceed her athletic profession.
“I simply suppose her willingness to adapt, particularly me as a brand new setter,” Kruger stated of what makes Ossola stand out on the volleyball court docket. “I do know it was most likely onerous for her to regulate to me as a result of she had by no means actually set my life. She’s a extremely good teammate.”
“If I gave her a foul sport, I would be like, ‘Oh no, that is positive. You may get the subsequent one.’ She’s additionally a tough employee and she or he’ll be prepared for the subsequent degree.”
Shortly after the season, Ossola advised Johnson that she needed to increase her enjoying profession.
“This was like two weeks into the season. He expressed to me that he needed to remain within the States and that he needed to search for a volleyball scholarship someplace and play volleyball right here,” Johnson stated. “That was all the time on our radar.”
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Discovering a Match with Johnson County Neighborhood School Volleyball
Ossola was nonetheless in touch together with his membership supervisor at residence and acquired assist from Johnson, who helped arrange a profile for Ossola at Subject Degree. That helps potential athletes get their data to varsity coaches.
Johnson additionally helped create alternatives for Ossola together with his connections within the sport and the state.
Ossola went to a Washburn College internship and in February spent a while at Johnson’s alma mater, JCCC.
Ossola stated she was initially afraid to play with the collegiate gamers, however gained confidence after going out on the court docket with them and having a very good observe.
“I did not really feel like I used to be adequate to play there, however I really felt nice,” Ossola stated. “I do know every part is quicker. All the pieces is extra (intense) than highschool, however I really like enjoying that approach.”
Ossola acquired a scholarship supply and signed his letter of intent on April 20.
“I felt like one thing nobody made me really feel whereas I used to be in Italy,” Ossola stated. “Whenever you get a scholarship, you’re feeling good. You may be a part of one thing greater than what you had been used to.
“Once I acquired there, I cherished Johnson County a lot that I believed, ‘I do not need to see another schools or I do not need to hear another provides, I simply need to go there.'”
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Journey to Johnson County Neighborhood School had some points
With the price of faculty in the US, her dad and mom initially refused to attend JCCC.
“The opposite factor is that they had been very scared, letting me go at 18,” Ossola stated. “They had been simply afraid to let their daughter go to the US. I believe that was the largest drawback.
“To be trustworthy, 20% of my thoughts was like, ‘You are proper,’ however the different 80% was like, ‘Rattling, I need to go to varsity right here. Why do not they let me go?'”
Two weeks later, Ossola’s dad and mom gave their blessing.
“I actually began crying,” Ossola stated. “Like, you’ll be able to’t be critical. You’ll be able to’t name me after two weeks and inform me you’ll be able to keep.”
That is to not say that Ossola did not have her personal reservations about staying in the US.
Would their friendships stay? Would you get uninterested in volleyball in two years?
And what about being so removed from residence?
“I perceive that a number of college students transfer throughout the nation to go to varsity,” Ossola stated. “However I imply, you will get on a airplane and in 4 hours you might be there. I’ve a 20-hour drive to do.”
Ossola went residence to go to household. She was presupposed to have arrived on July 26, however she wanted to get vaccinated and wait the 14-day interval. She’s going to return on August 9.
“I am so excited. I’d die to be there to play volleyball proper now,” Ossola stated. “I simply need to get there as quickly as potential. I am unable to wait.”
Contact Seth Kinker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comply with him on Twitter @SethKinker.