Although we are creeping further and further into the unknown surrounding COVID-19 and sports, some athletes have been fortunate enough to commit to universities to play at the next level. Varsity volleyball players Teddy Terrill ’21 and Cooper Robinson ’21 have ironically chosen to attend rival schools to play at next year: Terrill at USC and Robinson at UCLA.
Terrill expressed his happiness with being a Trojan next year: “After deciding that I simply could not handle the cold at Loyola Chicago, I was hoping some SoCal teams would reach out, and I was having loose conversations with Pepperdine and USC. But, in the end, I’ve been a Trojan fan since day one. So when SC started getting in more serious talks with me and eventually gave me an offer, I jumped on it right away – I committed literally within 10 minutes.”
Like Terrill, Robinson knew from day one that he wanted to be a Bruin. “Both of my parents went to UCLA, and I’ve had around 10 people from my family who’ve played volleyball or water polo there, so it’s an honor to join this legacy,” said Robinson. “It really came down to choosing between UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. But, I just loved the coaches, the facilities, the guys on the team at UCLA. It was a perfect match. I’ve been a Bruin my entire life, so it’s just a dream to go there.”
Terrill and Robinson both deeply expressed their gratitude for their family, friends, and coaches in helping them get this far.
Terrill mentioned that he had a lot of doubts about even playing volleyball: “I’ve been playing basketball since I was around four years old, but as I grew older, guys started getting bigger and stronger than me, so my dad told me to try volleyball. If I’m being honest, I was really not good in the beginning, but I grew some more and just got a whole lot better Freshman year and every year after that.”
However, the main theme among Robinson, Terrill, and Varsity Volleyball Coach Michael Boehle was the sense of frustration. Terrill mentioned how, although he got to commit early, it was annoying because he couldn’t show any other schools his potential. He said, “Loyola volleyball is just a different experience than club. We thought about winning a CIF title last year, but that didn’t really happen.”
Boehle said, “Junior year is the time when college scouts are really looking at players. But with our season getting cancelled last year and the possibility that this year’s could be cancelled as well, it’s been very hard for coaches to watch them. What’s worse is that we’re in the same place we were in the fall, four months later. There’s just so much uncertainty. And then CIF made the decision that we were going to be a fall sport instead of spring, then moving it back to spring has only created more confusion.”
Nevertheless, Robinson and Terrill are very hopeful they will be on the court next year. Robinson said, “It’s just too tough right now to call how much time I could get next year and whether I actually will end up playing at all. All in all, I’m just blessed to have been given this opportunity.”
Boehle praised his players: “I was in contact with SC and UCLA when Cooper and Teddy got their calls, and it’s really fortunate that they did. I’m really happy they’re getting to move on, even with no practices going on at school. They’ve shown leadership since the start of the year by simply coming to conditioning at school, being role models for the underclassmen by putting in the work, no matter if there was going to be a season or not.”