Ital Lopuyo first started playing volleyball when she was 10 years old in grade school although her playing position was not solidified until she started playing club volleyball her eighth grade year.
“Since then, I’ve been a middle and occasionally play as a right side,” Lopuyo explained.
Surprisingly enough, Lopuyo never envisioned herself playing at a college level.
“That was just never a reality for me. The dream always seemed so far-fetched, so as I played throughout middle school and my freshman and sophomore year, I never thought I’d end up getting the opportunity to play in college,” she said.
Surpassing her own expectations, Lopuyo committed to Texas A&M this year. She did have other offers on the table butdecided to go with Texas A&M because of everything the school and program had to offer.
“Aside from the beautiful destination that is College Station, I found love with the college town, the school and its values and the promise in the volleyball program and coaching staff. The most appealing thing to me I would say was the arena that I will be calling my home court,” Lopuyo said.
School pride was a necessity when committing to a school for Lopuyo. “When I was looking for a school, I definitely valued school pride. I mean I am a Central student, I do go to Champ High, and if there’s one thing we have it’s pride, so I definitely couldn’t see myself going to school that didn’t share the same values.”
Although she has not yet started at Texas A&M, the school has already instilled in her a sense of belonging.
“To mention again, I never dreamed of playing in college, but it was as if the minute I stepped into the arena I was a little girl with all of my dreams coming true. I felt so small in a place so big, but I knew it was home and was excited to be there,” Lopuyo said.
Lopuyo was a multi-sport athlete, playing both volleyball and basketball up until this year. She chose to continue her athletic career in volleyball instead of basketball due to her intense passion for the sport: “Basketball was more something I did in my free time, whereas I was more than dedicated to give time and effort into the sport of volleyball.”
Loupyo loves the sport of volleyball because of the joy and satisfaction she gets while playing. She says, “I love volleyball because of the person I feel I am when I’m on the court. When I play the sport, it’s as if everything outside of it doesn’t matter. I’m determined and locked in every time the ball is in play.”
Lopuyo is simply excited for what the next four years will hold for her.
“As far as college goes,” Lopuyo said, “To be told by coaches that it gets better, I can play better and that my game can develop even more is an intriguing promise that I am excited to explore over these next four years.”