ISU senior Tressa Lyman is an athlete of many talents. Lyman, who plans to graduate this May with a degree in elementary education, has played volleyball at ISU for the five years she has attended.
But she also stepped up to play a little more than half of last year’s basketball season.
After finishing her volleyball season, Lyman said her volleyball coach called to tell her that the basketball coaches wanted to speak with her about playing.
“Two of their starting posts had been injured with season-ending injuries, so they needed another post to come in and help them,” Lyman said.
Lyman, who is 6 feet 1 inch tall, joined the basketball team mid-way through the season and was a key factor in the Big Sky Tournament, helping the Bengals make it all the way to the championship game.
Lyman has played volleyball for as long as she can remember.
Both of Lyman’s parents played, and she said that she can’t remember a time in her childhood when a volleyball wasn’t around.
Lyman played both volleyball and basketball in high school, but said she decided to continue only volleyball on a collegiate level.
“It was a really tough decision for me,” Lyman said. “In the end, volleyball just won. I think I liked it just a tiny bit more, but it was close.”
Although the decision was difficult, Lyman said that she dropped the idea of continuing both sports at a collegiate level fairly quickly, although she did consider it.
“I wanted to have a life while also being a student-athlete and not be in training for 11 months out of the year,” Lyman said.
Despite Lyman’s decision to not play basketball on a college team, she has still kept up her love of the sport.
“Throughout the last five years I’ve played intramural and city league basketball, so I’ve kept playing. But playing on a real team, I was like, ‘wow, these girls are so good,’” Lyman said.
According to Lyman, the training that came with being on the basketball team was not much different from her volleyball training; although the endurance that basketball required was somewhat of a challenge.
“Everything in volleyball is so quick, and when I got to basketball it was more cardio and endurance, and I hadn’t run that far in five years. So that part was kind of a transition for me,” Lyman said.
Her volleyball training became immediately apparent to the basketball team any time she would block a shot in a game.
“Everyone would just laugh and say, ‘well you can tell she’s a volleyball player because she doesn’t block it, she spikes it,’” Lyman said. “I don’t notice it as much, but the basketball players do.”
One thing that remained the same for Lyman in both the volleyball and basketball teams was the feeling of family.
“I cannot express how grateful I am to have been a part of not only one team, but two. Especially being away from home, having that team is literally like your family,” Lyman said. “You spend so much time with these girls, and I think the biggest thing is that I have made relationships that will last the rest of my life.”