The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School

Del.Aware

Issue 5 Distribution on March 8
The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School

Del.Aware

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley High School

Del.Aware

Del.Aware

Christopher U’Glay overcomes, receives D1 offer

After many months of waiting, and years of dedication, senior Christopher U’Glay, a star member of the boys varsity volleyball team, earned an offer from Merrimack College, a Division 1 school in Massachusetts.  As of Oct. 10, 2023, he fully intends to commit to the university according to an Instagram post on his personal profile. 

Chris’s dream all his life was to make it to a Division 1 school no matter the cost.  He was introduced to volleyball when he was young, but he didn’t have much interest in the game at first. The sport that was closest to his heart was basketball, but unfortunately he tore his meniscus and ACL early in his career, forcing him to miss his eighth grade basketball season. He started doing track when he was cleared from his injury after the pandemic. A year later, during his freshman year, he decided to get into volleyball and give the sport a shot, following in his brother Aiden and sister Skylar’s footsteps. 

Without question, there was one teammate in particular who Chris strove to do better than—his older brother Aiden.  

“Probably when I was a freshman, my brother was a senior and I [aimed] to be better than him at everything.  That was my goal,” Chris said. 

Although basketball was still his main sport, Chris ultimately decided to also play golf. He continued to play golf during his sophomore year and loved playing it, but basketball season started back up again.  Sadly, his second stab at the game wasn’t all that great; shortly after the start of the season, he tore his meniscus and three ligaments in his ankle. Then volleyball came back around, and he enjoyed another successful season, being named co-league MVP as a sophomore. Despite his youth, Chris, the only returning starter that year, decided he needed to be a leader. 

Chris is quick to assess the hardest things about being a volleyball player.  

He said,  “Creating chemistry with your teammates is the hardest part,”  and though he played every sport there is,  “in volleyball you’re not going to be good if you don’t have good relationships with your teammates.  You have to be a family if you want to succeed.” 

Going into his junior year, volleyball became his main sport, and though he still played golf, he lost the love for basketball, mostly because of the injuries Chris suffered. During that volleyball season his junior year, he and the team went undefeated, also winning Leagues and Districts. Riding high that season, Chris became the first volleyball player in Delaware Valley history to earn all-state honors, breaking three school records in that same year. 

Along Chris’s life’s journey, his role model was his Grandpa. 

“He taught me how to be a gentleman and I want to be just like him when I get older,” Chris said.  

After his junior year, Chris’s name became widely known. College coaches started reaching out to him. After a bunch of time spent at camps, games and practices, it seemed like every college wanted him, until all at once, it seemed they didn’t, according to Chris. 

Chris sent out his highlight reels, which earned him full and partial scholarships and walk-on opportunities for various Division 2 and 3 schools, but he was still looking for that D1 scholarship.

All at once, Division 1 schools had denied him, though he still worked hard, with even less hope of achieving his dream. His last chance to prove his worth was at Merrimack College’s Division 1 camp in Massachusetts. For even just a few moments, he felt getting an offer may not have been possible.  In short, Chris felt like his dream was out of reach for him. After that camp experience, he thought he played well.  At the same time, he thought it might have been a waste of time. Chris walked out of the gym thinking his D1 dreams were over, but then the coach called for him, demanding he stay back and check in at his office. Chris was now filled with hope, and the coach shared what he desired all along.  He received his first offer while discovering that the coach was also an Olympics coach for Team USA. 

Suddenly the news spread of Chris’s ability, and he was getting calls from other volleyball schools in the country. Despite all the roadblocks and run-ins with injuries, including being denied by different D1 schools, all the hard work and ambition eventually paid off in the end. The lifelong journey he went through made him realize the importance of never giving up. That feeling of not being good enough, the sadness of not achieving his goal, to then suddenly realizing the success of his dream? It almost didn’t feel real.  He was shocked. 

While at Merrimack, Chris plans to major in health science. With volleyball still on his mind, he can easily address his weaknesses in the sport.

“Sometimes I schedule leg day the day before a big game. I will feel it the next day during the game, and I have to be [better at coping] with my workout schedule and still [work] to my full potential,” Chris said. 

There are many goals Chris looks to achieve with volleyball.

“Where I’m going to college, the conference is the NAC, and I hope to set some records there and to be a top-five player in the [conference],” Chris said.  

Having learned so much these past few years, Chris would hope to impart advice to newer volleyball players at the high school. 

“If you are at Delaware Valley and you want to start playing volleyball, I have talked to a lot of coaches before, and the coaches at Delaware Valley are best, because they taught me to do well and they know what they are doing. If you have no idea what you are doing at practice, in about a week’s [time], you’ll be pretty good,” Chris said. 

In the end, Chris learned that the relief and joy of achieving what he wanted his whole life was worth the devastating feelings he encountered in the process. As he learned from Dhiren Prajapati, “Never give up [because] great things take time.”

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