by Matt Paulson
Scott Alley, senior setter and captain of the University of La Verne men’s volleyball team and a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, has been activated as of 8 a.m., Thursday morning and forced to leave his teammates and ULV to serve his country.
Alley, who was originally recruited by associate head men’s volleyball coach Morgan Coberly, a former Leopard setter, from Orange Coast College in the fall of 2000, is one of the best overall players in Division III volleyball and is undoubtedly the best setter in the country at Division III, Coberly said.
In addition, if he had played this year’s entire season, Alley would have broken Coberly’s career assists record that he has held since his stint as a player on the ULV men’s squad, which ended in 1998.
“As a player, it really hurts to lose his leadership,” Coberly said.
A large obstacle that Alley’s leaving presents is ULV’s responsibility to now “start over with a new setter a month into the season,” said senior Josh Miller, who has known Alley since his days at Orange Coast.
Many of those associated with the ULV men’s volleyball team will not miss Alley’s consistency as the solid leader of their offense nearly as much as they will miss their buddy.
“It’s losing a captain, a setter, and most of all: a friend,” said senior middle blocker Dave Engle, who played against Alley in high school and with him at Orange Coast and ULV.
Alley oozes charisma and beams with personality; all those that come in contact with him remember him, for he leaves a lasting, positive impression on them, Engle said.
For those who know Alley, two words come to mind: hugs and smiles. Whenever one sees Alley anywhere, his perpetual smile is inevitably followed by a genuine hug just to say “hello.”
“I found it really hard to wipe that goofy grin off his face,” said senior libero Shane Haldeman, who has played with Alley since his arrival at ULV. “I’m just going to miss his zaniness. You always had to be on your toes with Scott because you never knew what he was going to do.”
“Scotty’s just not replaceable,” said student athletic trainer Kira Au.
“It’s still a little confusing,” said Jared Dodson, who ran out of eligibility after last year’s season, but has played with Alley since his arrival at ULV. “Does he really need to be over there?”
Most of the Leopards are struggling with the blaring unpredictability of Alley’s situation.
“There is such uncertainty, not for our team or our season, but for our friend,” said senior middle blocker Nate Silva.
“I don’t know when I’ll see him again or where he’s going. It’s a complete mystery,” said Will Paulson, Leopard men’s volleyball class of 2002.
“Saying good bye is just not appropriate,” Engle said. “It’s like saying ‘See you later,’ but you don’t know exactly when.”