Sandy Mohr finds her way back to MU after originally committing years ago


Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Sandy Mohr (No. 6) stands with her teammates ahead of Marquette’s match against Seton Hall.

The beginning of the season is typically a hectic time for Marquette head volleyball coach Ryan Theis. After the lull of summer, two-a-day practices become the norm. This year was even more eventful than usual.

With just one week to go before starting two-a-days, Theis learned sophomore middle blocker Sandy Mohr wanted to leave Evangel, an NAIA Christian university in Springfield, Missouri, and come to Marquette. All of a sudden, Theis had to clear a path for Mohr to transfer, get her enrolled in classes and find her housing, all before training camp started.

“What I was worried about was, in trying to help her … that we weren’t forgetting 14 other players that we were going to start in four days,” Theis said.

Mohr, meanwhile, would need to acclimate herself to new teammates and get ready to start playing volleyball at a much higher level than before.

“She is getting used to the speed again; she played on a very competitive club team, won a national championship as an 18 year old,” Theis said. “(She) had some injuries that kept her out some and then went and played in an environment that is not this speed … So, for a year and a half she was missing some of the stuff she would need to be successful here,”

In the following week, everything that needed to fall into place did, and Mohr was officially on the team.

“There was an opportunity where this was able to work out and I’m just really glad it did,” Mohr said.

Prior to playing volleyball, Mohr was an elite figure skater, competing at the regional level. She started skating at her family’s lake house, but as Mohr got older she also got taller, making it hard for her to continue skating for anything more than recreation. When Mohr hit the six-foot mark in seventh grade, she decided to replace skating with volleyball. Her brother introduced her to the sport through “pepper,” a popular two-person drill where participants take turns bumping, setting and spiking.

Mohr began her volleyball career playing for a club team in her hometown of Muskego, Wisconsin, but Mohr demonstrated the ability to play beyond the high school level. She started taking online high school classes to allow her to play for Sports Performance, a club based out of Aurora, Illinois. At Sports Performance, Mohr would go on to win an AAU Under-18 National Championship.

Along the way, Mohr traveled to Japan and the Dominican Republic for matches. That experience helped her become a top 40-ranked recruit in PrepVolleyball’s 2016 rankings.

“It was a really good club,” Mohr said. “Just being there I knew volleyball is what I wanted to do as long as I can.”

Originally, Mohr committed to Marquette in eighth grade while then-head coach Bond Shymansky was in charge. When Shymansky left Marquette to become the head coach at Iowa, Mohr planned to follow him, but the plan fell apart and she ended up at Evangel University.

“I just didn’t know what I really wanted,” Mohr said. “Committing here in eighth grade, it was kind of early. I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life.”

Since coming to Marquette, Mohr has endeared herself to the team through constant shows of support and a stringent work ethic. Even though she has only played in five sets, Theis has taken notice of Mohr’s dedication.

“She is a super hard worker,” Theis said. “Always looking for extra work, extra workouts, watching the video. That has been very nice to be part of our culture … We actually have to sometimes cut her (from practice) because she would go over (her NCAA 20-hour practice week.)”

“I’m really happy to be able to be back here,” Mohr said. “I don’t really know why I left. I kind of wish I didn’t sometimes.”