Story by Shawn Martin
In a sixth grade gym class, a star was born when Alysa Heath was handed a volleyball.
MSU Denver junior Heath is considered a powerful force as an outside hitter for the 14th ranked MSU Denver Roadrunner’s
“She is our most physical kid—a big presence at the net—both hitting and blocking the ball,” MSU Denver head coach Debbie Hendricks said.
It showed this past weekend just how physical Heath was, on consecutive nights she had career highs in kills. On Sept. 21 against No. 16 Colorado Mines she produced 17 kills, and on Sept. 22, she finished with 19 in a Lady ’Runners victory.
Heath isn’t just improving as a volleyball player on the court every night, but according to Coach Hendricks Heath’s confidence has skyrocketed since coming to MSU Denver after playing at Wichita State.
“Our first goal with her when she transferred here a year and a half ago was to build up her confidence, she has allowed us to take her that way but ultimately she has had to do the work,” Hendricks said.
On the court spectators see how great of an athlete Heath is. But her presence off the court is impactful for all of her teammates—with help from her family.
“Alysa has an awesome family. Since her family is the closest to all of us in Littleton, they allow us to have a lot of team stuff over there and it’s like they are a second family to all of us girls,” MSU Denver senior setter Vanessa Gemignani said.
Heath has a short-term goal—to win a conference championship this season.
“It’s been since 2003 since the last time we won a conference championship and I think we have the talent and the skill to do that,” Heath said. “I know it is a tough conference because anyone can take it but if we continue to play how we know how, we can win.”.
A long term goal for Littleton native Heath is to work in strength and conditioning for professional athletes even if that means leaving Denver. She is studying Adult Fitness & Exercise Science as well as a minor in Nutrition.
People: Alysa Heath