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Hey! So Glad You're Here.

My name is Casey Campbell Roe, I am a 5’ 7” 134lbs DS/Libero and a three sport varsity athlete with aspirations of playing college volleyball. I grew up and spent most of my life living in Asia.  I was introduced to volleyball in Hong Kong during my 8th grade year at age 11 when I played for the American International School.  Finding volleyball at this time of my life helped me during a challenging period for myself and my family.  Little did I know when I joined the team in fall of 2019 for my 8th grade season that the trajectory of my life was about to change. Hong Kong, the city that I love and grew up in, was consumed with the Pro-Democracy movement where millions of people protested the Anti-Extradition Law.  Despite my age of just 11 years old I was inadvertently caught up in a crowd while leaving a math class on a Saturday afternoon as a protest march had gathered outside the building I was in.  When I left the building, I was suddenly in the middle of the crowd and the Hong Kong Police began to fire tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd as I was trying to make my way to the subway to go home. This incident was just prior to Covid, and it spooked my parents. They jointly decided that my dad would move my brother and I to the United States temporarily while they hoped the political situation  would cool down in Hong Kong.  I was scheduled to leave with my brother at the end of January 2020, moving to Ann Arbor Michigan when the Covid-19 virus hit.  What happened next set me on a course to attend four different schools over the next 18 months and changed my life and interest in volleyball forever.

When we landed in Michigan, my dad found out the middle school I was to attend had their volleyball season starting in March and encouraged me to talk to the coach.  I was able to join for the tryouts in February where more than 50 girls tried out for 3 teams of 10 girls each.  I made the “A team” and was ranked the #2 player out of 50 coming out of those tryouts by the coaches. This was my first indication that I might be talented at volleyball. My middle school team, Tappan Middle School of Ann Arbor, played just one game before the season was canceled and school went online due to the virus spreading in the United States. We won that game and will always be undefeated! In my freshman year we moved  to a rental house in northern Michigan that my parents own to wait out the pandemic.  At my new school, Glen Lake High School, I was the starting outside all around for the JV Team where my coach suggested to the varsity coach that I be a candidate to be moved up to varsity.  I ended up earning two Varsity letters as a freshman while at Glen Lake HS for that school year playing three different sports. All the while things in Hong Kong did not cool down and Hong Kong enacted some of the most restrictive Covid rules in the world, which continued all schooling online and canceled all sports citywide. My parents extended  our stay in Michigan and the next year I ended up back in Ann Arbor.  The following year my parents decided to bring my younger brother back to Hong Kong and worked it out so that I could finish my High School years in the United States. They wanted me to have a chance to further explore athletics and did not think it would be good for me academically to keep moving schools during the critical High School years. 

I gave you this background to bring you to the current day. A big part of my story and an advantage as an athlete is my age.  I will play my senior year of high school volleyball as a 15-year-old and I’m on track to begin my freshman year of college as a 16-year-old. I have years yet to develop as an athlete and player and I am willing if necessary to gray shirt my first year if that helps in affording me an opportunity to play at the next level.  I have a 4.0 GPA and academically I skipped the 4th grade which is why I am young for my grade.  Because of my age I have always played sports with people older than me, which I think has helped me grow as an athlete.  I led my varsity high school team as a Junior in Server Rating and Ace’s per attempt last year as a varsity starter.  I was offered a spot on the #1 National U-18 team for my club team where I am also currently a starter alongside several talented players that will play at the college level next year. Last year on my club team I led in Aces, Server rating, Serve Receive Rating and hitting percentage as an outside all around. My club, Huron Valley Volleyball Club, told me I was the youngest player offered a spot on a U-18 team they had ever heard of.  My dad was a 3-sport varsity athlete in High School where he broke several school records and was a Division I track and field athlete at Eastern Michigan University. My dad has mentored me about sports and I appreciate his guidance.  He told me something I will never forget when I wanted to make the team at Tappan Middle School. When we first landed in the states and everything seemed so different to me after growing up in a big city, he told me that I could make the team if I worked hard and left everything I had on the court, dove for every ball and gave 100 percent. He said in the end sports comes down to head, heart, and God.  He explained that good athletes have a head for the game and understand the mechanics of how to play.  I think you will find that I know the sport and instinctively know how to position myself to make plays.  As for heart, you will never find a player that will work harder than me to help you win as a coach. As for God, he said that sometimes hard work also must be combined with natural physical ability.  I think you will find that I am physically strong and have good speed & reflexes and I am not an injury prone player through all my work.

I want to thank you for taking the time to learn more about me.  I hope that I can find a coach that will see the attributes I can bring to your program as a student athlete and give me a chance to prove myself. I spoke a lot about my dad, but I want to close my personal statement by talking about my mom.  My mom is my hero in that she academically made it all the way to the United States from very modest beginnings in China by studying Electrical Engineering.  She fought to get an opportunity to expand her horizons and study in the United States where she met my dad and got her master's degree at the University of Michigan. She taught me how to fight for what you want in life and instilled a love in me for math and science.  Although I am not sure of my ultimate degree, I hope I can parlay my many experiences into an opportunity to study at a top academic institution and fulfill my dream of playing college athletics.  I know that I am extremely lucky to have the experiences I have and the support that I have at home to chase my dreams.  While at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School I founded the “Peace for Ukraine Club”. I have been drawn to the struggle the people of Ukraine are experiencing based on what I experienced and saw in Hong Kong.  I hope in the end my career will lead me to a life of service to others and have considered a career in the Military after finishing my academic and hopefully athletic career at your university.

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