Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Megan Aalsma – De Pere volleyball
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – De Pere senior Megan Aalsma will be playing college volleyball at Carroll University in Waukesha beginning this fall, but she almost ended up in Montana.
“There’s a funny story behind that,” said Megan, the daughter of Amy and Shawn Aalsma. “I got confused because there are two colleges with similar names. I accidentally applied to Carroll College (Helena, Montana), and that’s not what I meant to do. My transcripts went to Carroll University, and then Carroll College told me they needed my transcripts. I thought, ‘I already sent them.’ I was confused.”
Aalsma, who will study nursing at Carroll, said she first picked up a volleyball when she was about 11 years old.
“That was in the fifth grade,” she said. “I didn’t get serious until the sixth grade with the De Pere Diggers.”
The high school Redbirds are coached by PJ Brocker.
“This was coach’s second year,” Aalsma said. “It was different playing for him. He’s quiet, so I had to learn his body language. He’s a great coach, always told stories and pushed us to do better – without screaming at us.”
Aalsma, a libero on the court, said her most memorable moment came her junior year at the Stevens Point tournament.
“We beat everyone, including Point,” she said. “The victory was memorable, but the bus ride there and back was fun because us girls were singing and having a good time.”
Her most embarrassing moment came this spring.
“I was running for a ball toward our bleachers,” Aalsma said. “The chairs were scattered, and I thought if I dove for the ball, I’d get it. I dove the wrong way and completely missed.”
Like most area school districts, De Pere moved its fall sports last year to this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was weird,” Aalsma said. “I was sad last year at the beginning of school. I kept texting (Coach) Brocker asking for updates, but he didn’t know, either – it kept me wondering. Typically, you play volleyball at the beginning of the school year, so when we played this spring, it tricked my mind and made it seem like we were just starting school.”
Aalsma said at one point during this season, there were only four girls at practice.
“I wasn’t personally affected, but for two weeks at the beginning of the season, there weren’t many of us at practice,” she said. “We had to take a COVID break.”
Aalsma said in 20 years, she hopes to be married with kids and giving back to the community of De Pere.
“I’m not sure if I’ll live in De Pere, but giving back to the place where I grew up is important to me,” she said. “Maybe I’ll run volleyball camps.”
Aalsma said she likes to talk in a British accent, something most people don’t know about her.
“I only do that around my family,” she said. “When (my sister) Emily and I were young, we had this obsession with London and wanted to go there. We’d watch British shows and change the language on television to hear the accent. We’d talk like that all day. I’m sure it got annoying.”
Aalsma played basketball as a freshman and did softball when she was younger.
She’s been a CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) since January, something she said suits her caring nature.
“I put others before me many times,” Aalsma said. “That’s why I enjoy being a CNA – I love helping those in need. The greatest gift is knowing you can help someone.”
When she leaves De Pere, she said she wants to leave her mark on the school.
“Teachers would say I have a funny personality,” Aalsma said. “My goal is to make people laugh. Especially now with COVID, more people are down in the dumps. With volleyball this season, my role wasn’t only to be a captain but to make people laugh and have fun. I’m also hard-working and sociable. Some of my teachers think I do too much work.”
Besides Emily, she also has another older sister, Amber.
Emily attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while Amber is at UW-Eau Claire.
Both of her sisters played volleyball in high school.
Aalsma’s younger brother, Colin, is a freshman at De Pere and plays basketball and football.
Her mom went to Preble High school and participated in track, volleyball and basketball.
Aalsma’s dad grew up in Waupun and did basketball, golf, football and baseball.
Her parents met at UW-Stevens Point.
Aalsma said she loves sushi.
“If I could eat sushi for the rest of my life, I’d be fine with that,” she said. “The only kind I don’t like is the raw kind.”
She also likes the phone app Snapchat, monkeys, the movie “Maze Runner,” the restaurant Koko Sushi Bar and Lounge, country and rap music and the month of June.
Editor’s note: To read last week’s Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight on West De Pere’s Rebekah Buboltz, CLICK HERE.