Sharing their story: Why student-athletes chose Boise State

Boise State volleyball, 2022
Photo by Claire Keener

Boise State’s nationally recognized athletic programs draw student-athletes to the university every year. But each Bronco has a different reason as to why they decided to play for Boise State. 

Women’s golfer Lexi Perry, a “super senior” currently seeking her MBA, and volleyball player Lauren Ohlinger, junior business major and outside hitter, discussed why they chose Boise State.

Perry and Ohlinger had big goals to accomplish here in Boise. Perry wanted to be top three in the conference, while Ohlinger wanted to win a Mountain West Championship, which her team accomplished last season.

There are no professional sports teams in Boise, which has created an atmosphere where the entire Treasure Valley roots for Boise State. 

“The people truly rally around Boise State Athletics,” Perry said. “Everyone supports BSU which is pretty cool to see and is different than most places.”

Boise State volleyball, 2022
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

When Ohlinger visited Boise, she felt like this was where she should be and who she should play for. 

“[My teammates] — they are all my best friends,” Ohlinger said. “I could just sense how close they were … and how [the community] supports their athletes was really big for me.”

The volleyball coaching staff has given Ohlinger many opportunities that she may not have had at other institutions, such as starting as a freshman. 

“I think the coaches just take their time with each player, especially with me, to help grow and learn the game of volleyball a lot more,” Ohlinger said. “I came in not knowing a ton and so I have grown a lot just with the IQ of the game.”

Similarly, Perry noted her own pros of Boise State, like the opportunity to be a leader now as a super senior in the “family atmosphere” of a team.

Academics were also a key factor for Ohlinger because of the great resources that the university has provided, especially for student-athletes. 

Perry wants to continue to make connections through Boise State while Ohlinger wants to get her master’s degree after the NCAA gave each student-athlete an extra year of eligibility since COVID disrupted the regularly scheduled season. 

“I definitely chose here with the volleyball aspect, and it was the right fit for me because of the coaches, the team, facilities, and how everyone supports the volleyball team,” Ohlinger said.

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