Ella Rodriguez Commits to University Of Southern Mississippi

Rodriguez Commits to USM to Play D1 Beach Volleyball


Miranda Miller, Co-Editor In Chief

Chesterton High School senior Ella Rodriguez committed to the University of Southern Mississippi to play D1 beach volleyball for the school.  During her schooling, she plans to major in Political Science and minor in Sociology.  Prior to her commitment to USM, Rodriguez was looking into Georgia State University and the University of Oregon.  

When making the final decision, Rodriguez says, “For me, the decision process wasn’t too stressful. I knew I wanted to play down south and Southern Miss had my favorite campus and coaching, which made the decision easy.”

And when asked what the deciding factor was, Rodriguez responded, “I think for me it was the coach. Coach Taylor is the head coach of the team and when I talked to him at Nationals it just sort of clicked and I really liked his coaching philosophy and style.”

Not only is she excited to play D1 beach volleyball, but she is excited to live somewhere different from Indiana.  

“Honestly, I look forward to playing big schools. I love a good challenge and we play schools like Florida State and LSU,” says Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez has been playing volleyball since she was in the third grade, however, she just recently began playing beach volleyball over this past summer.  She has always wanted to play college volleyball, no matter whether it was indoor or beach volleyball.  

“The majority of my beach teammates really helped inspire me. The main role model from my beach team was a player Bella Baumen. She plays for LSU and is just someone I highly looked up to in terms of skill and leadership. She really made me want to pursue a college career,” says Rodriguez.   

Even though she is excited to play beach volleyball, Rodriguez will miss her current teammates and shares her favorite memory, “My favorite high school memory is definitely going to Reese’s house after our first sectional game last year and piling onto the couch to watch High School Musical. We all bonded and laughed and I will definitely miss these girls.”

Finally, when asked what advice they had for younger volleyball players, Ella responded with, “Hard work truly does pay off. Even when you get tired, everyone else is tired too, it is up to you to work through it and make yourself noticed. Talent can only get you so far while enough drive and grit can get you through anything.”