ALUMNI: Nevada Union volleyball great Ali Daley McColloch ready for new challenge
It was just not quite the same.
The AVP Tour event in San Francisco featured great weather and incredible volleyball. However, for the first time in several years, Ali Daley McColloch was absent from play. Oh, she was there — but this time she was merely a spectator. She was resigned to watching husband Kevin McColloch weave his way into the quarterfinals.
It was impressive and entertaining. One could feel how she had the itch to get on the court. It was not in the cards this year.
Ali is many years removed from a brilliant career at Nevada Union, Long Beach State and UCLA. There she shone as an incredible athlete. Volleyball became a part of her DNA. She went on to carve a pretty nifty stint on the beach. She has steadily climbed the ladder with impressive years and outstanding accomplishments. However, for now, pro volleyball is on hold.
Ali and Kevin are expecting. Ali looks like a well-maintained athlete, but she is quite pregnant. She is due in late September. It is a well-deserved year off from the AVP and International circuits. Ali has stayed in great shape. She credits it to nutrition and moderate training. For now, her foot is off the gas pedal. Always active, she has found many things to fill the void. But, volleyball is still a focus in her life.
“I intend to hopefully come back next season,” Ali said. “With all things, it will be more difficult to balance work, training and family life. It will be challenging. I will play. It will be how much I can commit to training, family, work and volleyball. It is all very much unknown right now.”
She added, “I may not be able to travel as much. The International play will be a challenge. I should be able to do the AVP events in Seattle, San Francisco and Southern California.”
She has consulted with other players. She knows she will need to lean on parents and significant others. Ali has some time to figure it out. There may be moments in which she just has to wing it.
Let there be no doubt, Kevin and Ali are excited. It is a whole new phase in her life. Motherhood is on the immediate horizon, and it is something she truly cherishes. She feels it is great timing and looks forward to a wonderful experience.
“It will be another adventure but we are ready,” she said. “I would like to think I am mentally prepared for kids. It’s my first child. Having kids is a really exciting thing. There is nothing compared to it … not even volleyball. I am excited to do this with Kevin. He will be an amazing father. I am excited to see our family grow.”
Thus is her essence. Ali has become an expert at compartmentalizing things. She balances the many aspects of her life. Now there is a new aspect. She will soon have one more ball to juggle.
Seven months along in her pregnancy, she still looks very much the part of a gifted athlete. She has focused on toning down training, but insuring nutritional health. It is hard these days for her to get to the gym. She has focused on swimming and shorter workouts at home. The biggest thing, according to Ali, is food. She eats healthy and maintains a dietary regimen.
“I wish I had more time. I cannot get up at 5 a.m. to work out. I do not want to stress my body out too much. There will be time to get back into shape after the baby,” she said.
Today, life is ever so busy. There is little time to rest. She is becoming a certified paralegal at the University of San Diego. She is coaching for Temecula’s Viper Volleyball Program. She has started a new Beach Volleyball program there. Kevin and Ali have become co-owners of the successful program. She attends tournaments about every-other-weekend. She also helps manage a law office. As she attends the event in San Francisco, she carries a number of books that she studies between matches.
“I am busier than when I was playing,” she said. “Every hour of the day is filled and then there is homework on the weekends.”
Perhaps AVP San Francisco was a breather for Ali. She watched Kevin and was a large part of each of his matches. Kevin is a top-notch player and he made his mark in The City by the Bay. His play stretched late into Saturday. It sometimes stresses Ali out. She is used to playing, not watching. Husband Kevin puts on quite the show and over-achieves. They are both happy. Kevin is exhausted.
They pack up and about 4 p.m. and begin the 8-hour trek home.
There are many things on the horizon. Ali Daley McColloch never forgets her roots. Her younger years at Nevada Union are always on her mind. She is humbly grateful for all life has brought her. Above all, she is happy. There is still the bounce in her step. She welcomes well-wishers while contemplating the months ahead.
Yes, it will be a new journey. However, like the other twists and turns in life, she convinces one that she is ready. Ali is open and approachable, always pleasant. There will be trips before and after to Nevada County. For now, she looks forward to a new member of the family, maintaining a happy home life and balancing everything else in the months ahead.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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