If it wasn’t for her best friend in fifth grade who introduced her to volleyball club, sophomore Courtney Wanamaker would not be where she is today. In her 13th year of volleyball and second season at Linfield, she proudly wears number two as the team’s defensive specialist.
Wanamaker, of West Linn, Ore., has always been athletic and competitive. When she was younger, she played basketball and softball. However, at the young age of 10, she made a decision that would determine the rest of her life.
By the sixth grade, she decided to toss aside her basketball jersey and hang up her softball cleats in order to focus all of her time and energy on volleyball.
“I played club volleyball year round, so there really was no time,” Wanamaker said. “I had to choose a sport. And I love volleyball because of the competitiveness and how much of a team sport it is. Everyone has to work together for it to work.”
Wanamaker was lucky enough to have the support of her parents and older brother in this decision.
“My family has always been very supportive of me through my volleyball career,” Wanamaker said. “They came to everything, and they still do. My parents are willing to travel anywhere, and it’s super nice to have them there.”
Being such a family-oriented individual, spending her free time outside of volleyball with her loved ones has always been important to Wanamaker. She enjoys traveling, being outdoors, hiking at Multnomah Falls and spending time with her older brother and best friend who is in his senior year at Gonzaga University.
“As a family, we really like to vacation to Mexico,” she said. “I’ve been to Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo and Acapulco, but my family’s favorite spot is Zihuatanejo, so we like to go there. It’s really cool to see all the handcrafted things that the natives make. I really like going to different countries because it’s really interesting to see how they live and how different it is from the United States.”
Wanamaker is looking forward to a family trip to Europe next summer. She is especially excited to visit Amsterdam.
Considering her love for traveling and curiosity for cultures besides her own, it is no wonder that she dreams of being a traveling marketer for Nike. She will use the experience she gathers in the pursuit of her business major during her time at Linfield.
“I would definitely be interested in traveling to different countries,” Wanamaker said. “It will help me get my foot in the door for more high position jobs in Nike.”
Wanamaker means business when it comes to Wildcat volleyball too. She hopes to be a contributing factor to her team’s future success through hard work.
“We didn’t do as well in the first round,” Wanamaker said. “But I think we’re going to be a lot better the second time around, hopefully taking fourth in conference.”
Referring to future seasons, Wanamaker hopes to see the Wildcats take care of business at the national level.
“The ultimate achievement for our team would be to win conference and make it past regionals,” she said. “Making it to nationals and winning everything would be the coolest thing ever. I know we have won nationals before, but it has been a long time.”
Sarah Mason can be reached at email@example.com.