Ashleigh Diller Hits One Over the Net

Sarkis Adajian

Hard work, determination and dedication sometimes add up to one thing: success. Glendale College 19-year-old volleyball star Ashleigh Diller has shown what it takes to be on top of her sport while also achieving in the classroom.

Diller recently received a Scholar Athlete Award for her achievements in the classroom and as an athlete. Besides maintaining a 3.46 GPA while taking 15.5 units this semester, she excelled at volleyball.

“When my coach first told me that I had won this award I was really surprised. I mean I always work hard to keep up my grades but I had no idea that I would win this award, but I am really happy that I did,” said Diller.

A lot of students are good with the textbooks or on the playing field, but it takes a special kind of dedication and drive to be able to thrive in both these areas.
Playing volleyball was not always easy for Diller. In her senior year of high school she suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee which caused her to miss the entire season.

But she was able to overcome adversity. In 2009, she played in 78 games and had 33 aces; all this while focusing on her major of psychology. “I wouldn’t say that I’m the best, volleyball is a?team sport?and I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without my team and coach.”

Success does not go to her head. “Ashleigh is a hard worker, she never settles for being mediocre. She wants the best for herself but more importantly her teammates. She looks out for the best interests of the team; she is very considerate, and an all-around dynamic person and athlete,” said teammate Jessica Alvarez.

Although she received an athletic scholarship to Whittier College, one thing remains the most important – her education.
“When I was a child, my parents have always told me that it is very important to do well in school, and with education I can go far,” she said. “They also told me that I should not just rely on sports to make it in life, because there is always a chance of getting injured, and if I don’t do well in school I will not have anything to fall back on. This is why I feel it is important to keep a high GPA. Although I am flattered that I won the award, it means more to me to have a high GPA.”

Diller’s passion for higher education while excelling in athletics could propel her to success in a multitude of areas.

Teammate Ashley Veliz explained it best. “Ashleigh has one mind set: no matter what situation our team faced, it didn’t matter whether we were losing or winning, in her mind each point provided a new opportunity,” she said.

“There were times when we went through tough situations but her head remained up. Whether it was good or bad she kept her head in the game. It amazed me how she never let the result of matches or the way she was playing affect her.

“I swear her facial expression remained the same at all times because she trusted her abilities and the ability of our team. She’s a true example of a leader.”

Head coach Yvette Ybarra has also taken notice of Diller’s success. “It does not surprise me that she received this award. She has a huge impact on this team all while getting the job done in the classroom. It’s not like she is taking any easy classes just to pass. Ashleigh is taking all the necessary classes to receive her degree. She is just a natural born leader. She has love for sport and school.”

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul,” said American author Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Likewise, Ashleigh Dillers’ determination to be the best at everything she does led to her success on and off the court.