Scholz finds home in Dallas
Competing in a national volleyball tournament before her senior year at Fallon opened a door to the future.
Playing for Silver State Volleyball Club, Mary Scholz and her team visited Dallas in the summer 2013 for the USA National Championships. Aside from the tournament, Scholz was captivated by the city and added the University of Dallas to her list of college choices.
After starring for Patty Daum’s Greenwave where she racked up various honors, including all-state and all-North in the Division I-A, Scholz took the next step and found her home away from home in Dallas.
“When I took my visit to the school it added to my love for Texas, and it became my No. 1 choice,” said Scholz, who had offers to play all over the country, including New Jersey, Iowa and California.
A 2014 Fallon grad, Scholz made an impact in her first season at Dallas, a Division III school, as she was one of two freshmen and started 16 matches, playing a total of 90 games. The 5-foot-10 outside hitter and defensive specialist recorded 137 kills, 192 digs and broke double figures in kills four times despite seeing her season end in the last week due to a knee injury.
It wasn’t so much of a cultural shock to Scholz in her first season as she felt prepared to make an impact.
“College is a whole new world compared to high school and club, school-wise and on the court, but I was able to handle it,” Scholz said.
High school and club, especially, helped prepare Scholz for the next step.
Scholz was an all-state selection as a middle/outside hitter after leading the Lady Wave with 108 kills, 11 aces and 20 digs in 2013. The 18-year-old Silver State squad took second at a national qualifier in Denver last spring.
“My club experience was amazing and I learned so much from playing there,” she said. “I don’t know if I would be where I am without playing club.”
Dallas head coach Emily Holombek was pleased with the ex-Greenwave star’s contributions to the team this season and looks forward to her sophomore season.
“There were a lot of things to adjust to, new school, new coach, new program, but she did a great job coming in with the energy and motivation needed to make those adjustments,” Holombek said. “You always hope for the best and the best thing is that now we know what to work on and get another chance to compete next year.”
Fluidity with her movement and a calm demeanor on the court attracted Holombek to Scholz late in the recruiting process and said with more consistency, she can reach the top.
“She knows how tough our conference is now and what it takes to get to the top and that process starts now,” Holombek said. “She is working hard in rehab so that we can get some work in on the court in the offseason. Her attitude is one of her best assets and that along with a passion for the game will be the keys helping her grow as a player, leader and student-athlete.”
The next step for the biology major will be getting her knee back to full strength and preparing for the fall. After recording a career-high 16 kills against Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), Scholz echoed her coach’s assessment and strives to be more consistent and make one of the postseason teams.
Without family support, though, none of this would have been possible.
“My family and friends have been such an amazing support system for me,” said Scholz, who wants to either attend post-undergraduate school to study pediatric physical therapy or medical school to become a pediatrician. “My parents came down at the beginning of the season and were able to see a couple games in a tournament and they watch as many games online as they can.”
And the road to making it to the college circuit begins early in high school, playing competitively for the school as well as joining a club team. Scholz’s formula for current students isn’t complicated, either.
“If you want to play at the next level, you must play on a travel team. That’s where recruiters look at kids and club sports can add so many skills to your repertoire,” Scholz said. “When looking at schools make, sure to look not only at their athletic department but also at their academic side. Being happy in your studies is just as important as playing a sport.”