The tournament plays host to 48 of the best collegiate players in the country. The players are then split into four teams, train together, and then play a round-robin style tournament. Wiker’s team ended up winning the tournament, giving her momentum coming into the collegiate season.
“I just want to be the best team leader I can be,” Wiker said. “I think we can finish top four in the ACC, and I just want to do my part.”
And she is doing her part, not only as a leader, but also as a student athlete. Wiker completed her undergraduate degree in finance in three years, and is currently working on her master’s degree.
While one may struggle relating to younger teammates taking intro level classes while taking master’s classes, Wiker has no problem.
“I just come back to the team and tell them my stories about class, and they just laugh at me. It’s a pretty cool experience,” Wiker said.
But that experience is soon coming to a close. In a matter of months Wiker’s senior season will end, and the terrifying vastness of what comes after college awaits her, just like a regular senior.
While volleyball players don’t have a big time professional league like the NFL or the MLB to aim for like Hokie football and baseball players do, many play professionally in Europe. However, the shelf life of a volleyball player is not particularly high. The constant jumping required in the sport can add mileage a player’s ankles, back or in Wiker’s case, knees.
“I want to play in Europe if my knees hold up,” Wiker said. “I’ve had some problems with tendonitis from my kneecaps which inflames my tendons.”
Wiker acknowledges that even if she does play in Europe, it is only an endeavor of a few years that comes before starting a real job. Despite that fact, she doesn’t want to move too far away from the sports world.
“I think that I want to use my finance degree in some way to help athletes,” Wiker said. “I really don’t think I will ever be able to leave the sports world.”
But before that occurs, Wiker is an essential part of a volleyball team that is tied for second in the ACC and in the midst of a hunt for the postseason.
Not too shabby for someone who started playing the sport only after being cut by the middle school cheer team.