Alyssa Meihack wanted to make an impact in college and she didn’t disappoint.
After guiding the Lady Wave volleyball team, the 2010 Fallon grad left everything on the court this year as she wrapped her four-year career at Western New Mexico University (Silver City).
“She leaves her mark as one of the best here,” Western New Mexico coach Jim Callender said. “In my 16 years here, the setting position has been one of the most recognized overall. Statistically, she set some very high numbers. Few setters exceed 4,000 assists.”
Meihack was a staple in the Mustang program as she started all four years, finishing with 4,263 career assists and 1,169 digs. She never had to worry about losing her place with the Division II program and improved every year. As a freshman, she averaged 9.5 assists per set and by her senior year, the number jumped to 11.04 and improved from a 0.175 hitting percentage to 0.205.
“Alyssa definitely improved, and she had a terrific set of hitters her senior year,” Callender added. “Throughout my 30-year career, every setter in my programs has made All-Conference up to All-American even National Player of the Year. Alyssa had personal achievements as well. This season, many of her teammates also were recognized by the conference and nationally. I don’t think Alyssa can look back and say ‘what if.’ She worked hard and left all of her energy on the court to do the best she could and have her teammates excel.”
Possessing that drive and will to perform at an even higher level after playing for Patty Daum’s Lady Wave squad helped Meihack realize that it didn’t matter where players ended up but as long as they take full advantage of the experience.
“When you get to college, it takes just as much training, motivation and dedication to stay here as it does to get here,” said Meihack, who was a regular first-team all-league setter in three seasons at Fallon. “I am thankful that I have gotten to spend all four years at Western. It has helped me build relationships with my professors, other students and athletes, and some of the people in town. If you are happy with where you are at, it makes it easy to stay.”
Meihack recommends current Fallon student-athletes to pursue a collegiate career. They won’t regret it.
“No matter what college you go to and what division they are, playing a college sport is an excellent experience,” Meihack said. “Whatever you chose will be the best for you. It truly is an experience to go through and if it is something that you want then you shouldn’t hold back.”
The rumors players hear every year about college sports resembling a part-time or even full-time job are true. But as Meihack and other ex-Greenwave stars have demonstrated on the college level, time management is their best friend.
“College sports are very different from high school. I enjoyed playing high school sports very much,” Meihack said. “College volleyball has taken up most of my time. Even when I come home for summer, my time is dedicated to training for the next season. It has taught me to have more self-motivation and pursue goals.”
And it doesn’t hurt having family by your side.
“My family has always been supportive of me in playing,” Meihack said. “They try to come to as many games as they can and the ones that can’t watch in person they are watching online.”
When she arrived in Silver City, Meihack noticed a major difference of talent and speed with high school versus college. But through constant learning and practicing, Meihack was able to turn out a successful career.
“One difference that I have experienced with college volleyball and high school is the level of play,” she added. “In high school, we played against pretty good teams and there was great competition, but in college we played against different competition. Each area is different with level of play and type of play. In college, everything is faster and a completely different game.”
Volleyball, though, is just part of the college experience.
Meihack will graduate this year with a degree in rehabilitation therapy with the goal of becoming a certified occupational therapist. With her school work ethic matching volleyball, Callender sees nothing but positive things coming Meihack’s way, even if it involves coming back to the game and helping coach.
“Excellent student-athlete,” Callender said. “Alyssa performed at a very high level on the court and in the classroom. I expect her to do a tremendous job with her patients. I’m sure she will always be attracted to the game, but as for coaching, I don’t know if that is something she would pursue. I think she would work with club players and make them better.”