Chloe Rojas is an active senior athlete on and off the court.
With finishing her journalism and Spanish dual degrees, involvement in clubs like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, volunteering for “bilingual activities” at the library and her leadership as president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Rojas stays busy. Most important, however, is her role as an EKU volleyball player.
Volleyball has been a way of life for Rojas since the fifth grade, and as this season came to an end, she wrapped up her collegiate athletic career. Junior Rachel Woody, her friend and teammate said Rojas is not only a successful athlete, but was also named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year last year.
“Chloe is by far one of the hardest working players I’ve ever played with,” Woody said. “She’s definitely a player you want to have on your team. She’s kind of the glue that keeps everyone together.”
Rojas owes her success to her determination and level of competitiveness on the court.
“It’s very competitive where I’m from; there’s a lot of really good volleyball players and so I think it just became something I just wanted to be the best at … It wasn’t just having fun … it was striving to be the greatest volleyball player I could be.”
A typical day for Rojas is usually focused around her sport. Practice usually includes a morning weight lift at 9 a.m., immediately followed by her classes until around 2 p.m.
“I have always had some back issues,” Rojas said. “So I’d usually have to go to treatment before practice, so like 2:15 to 3:15 and we’d usually set up the net at 3:15. Then practice would be from 3:30 to sometimes 6 - sometimes 6:45 depending on what coach was feeling.”
Rojas said her favorite thing about playing a sport in college has been the relationships she’s cultivated, not only with the other players and coaches, but with the people who work for the athletic department as well.
“It’s really cool to be able to walk down the hallways of the athletic department and stop in my coach’s office and say hey. Or like, stop by one of the sports information director’s office or Bratzke or wherever and just be able to talk to people.”
Her least favorite thing about volleyball is the intense level of commitment the sport requires.
“It’s been really hard,” Rojas said. “I mean it’s been good for me because it’s helped me to develop time management skills, but it just adds a lot of stress.”
For Rojas, her success is a result of her mindset.
“It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it when you see the end product.”
Woody also recognizes her Rojas’s level of dedication on and off the volleyball court.
“I feel like she’s always getting more digs each and every game. But I think she doesn’t even recognize those types of things. She’s kind of more about the team aspect … I feel like there’s no other competition compared to her … She’s always kind of had my back through everything … she’s the best,” Woody said.
Now that volleyball season is over, both girls feel like it could have gone better.
“It wasn’t great. I think that there were just a lot of changes to our team this year,” Rojas said. “It was a hard season for sure, but it doesn’t change my experience here. I still enjoyed being with my team … Obviously we weren’t super successful, so that was hard.”
Woody agrees, and said she thinks the hardest thing for Rojas was that it was the end to this season and her volleyball career.
“It is what it is,” Woody said. “I’m hoping for some more change and more success next season and I think we have the girls to do it, so I’m excited.”
Woody said that the team will be sad to see Rojas go.
“She’s one of our most productive people on the court so it’s super hard having her leave. But I think we have a couple people that will be able to replace her and leave the team in good hands,” Woody said.
Rojas said that while she doesn’t know for sure what her plans are after college, she is considering continuing her love of sports.
“I’ve thought possibly about a sports information director role … they write profiles, or manage a team, or like write PR stuff about different teams,” Rojas said. Rojas also mentioned that she has previously interned with EKU Sports.
Rojas said the thing she’ll miss the most about volleyball is the time with her teammates.
“What won’t I miss is a better question,” Rojas said. “I think I already miss it. Just working for something bigger than just you I think was the coolest part of being on a team. And playing for EKU. It just gives you so much pride for your school and in what you’re doing."