Beyer follows Shymansky to MU, leads team as sophomore

Sophomore Ashley Beyer leads the team in kills this season

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I / I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference.”

Although it is a strange way to begin a volleyball story, these last three lines from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken epitomize” the path that sophomore Ashley Beyer has taken to get to Marquette.

A standout volleyball player at Bloomington High School in Illinois, Beyer was heavily recruited by then Georgia Tech coach Bond Shymanksy, after setting the school records for kills in a season (375) and in a match (22).

With aspirations of joining Shymansky at Georgia Tech the following year, Beyer first went to a junior college at Kishwaukee College in Illinois, where she won an NCJAA Division II National Championship, was named tournament MVP and an AVCA Two-Year Colleges First Team All-American.

“It was just a great experience having gone through it all,” Beyer said. “We got national championship rings and got recognized by everybody. Even though it was only junior college, it was still a lot of fun.”

She was left with a tough decision, though, when Shymansky left Georgia Tech for Marquette. She couldn’t decide if she should become a Yellow Jacket like she planned, or follow Shymansky to his new destination.

“Honestly, I chose Marquette because of Bond Shymansky. He’s the reason why I went to junior college, because I wanted to play for him so badly. So then when he transferred I looked at some other schools,” Beyer said. “But then I came on a visit here with him, and I really liked the campus and the atmosphere. I loved the gym, and I wanted to have him as a coach.”

Shymansky said he was very excited when Beyer committed to Marquette and noted that although she is only a sophomore, she has already greatly impacted the team’s success.

Beyer has taken the road less traveled to become a Golden Eagle, but it is a decision that has already paid off. She leads the team in kills with 308 and total points with 350.5. She is also second in aces with 29 and fourth in digs with 195. The sophomore has had double digit kills in nine-straight matches dating back to Sep. 26 against Pittsburgh.

“She just wants the ball,” junior Nikki Klingsporn said. “She gets after it, and she has great shots as a hitter. She sees the court very well, and it’s good as a setter to have someone who is demanding the ball all the time.”

The huge numbers she is putting up are even more impressive considering that she played mostly in the back row for the beginning of the season while sharing time at outside hitter with junior Leslie Bielski and sophomore Ciara Jones.

“If somebody else is going to get it done and we’re going to win, then I’m more than willing to play back row and not front row,” Beyer said “I just worked hard to get the spot back.”

Her work ethic and team-first mentality, combined with her physical abilities, make her a vital piece to the program.

“We have only scratched the surface of Ashley’s abilities,” Shymansky said. “I think by the time she is finished at Marquette she will leave a great legacy.”