Volleyball transfer takes advantage of what Marquette has to offer

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Savannah Rennie (far left) stands with the Marquette volleyball team prior to the athlete march Sept. 4. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

A new school and a postponed fall volleyball season are not what graduate transfer student Savannah Rennie expected when she joined the Golden Eagles. 

“It’s just been a weird transition, this whole fall has been weird,” Rennie said. “We are used to being ready to compete. We are usually playing matches and tournaments. So, the mindset change has been difficult because it just feels very different and totally off, but we are getting used to it.”

Prior to making the move to Marquette, Rennie spent five years on the University of California volleyball team. Coming into this season she had one year of eligibility left and was placed into the transfer portal system when Marquette showed an interest in her. 

“We actually reached out to her in the fall and didn’t have much luck corresponding, and she was injured at the time,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “Once she got to a point in spring where she thought she could play volleyball again, she reached back out to us.”

Marquette was not necessarily on Rennie’s radar as a possible choice to continue her volleyball career, but once she looked into it, she was pleased with what she saw. 

“I didn’t know much about Marquette, so I started doing some research and looking into the volleyball team,” Rennie said. “I knew I wanted to continue to play and if Marquette was willing to invest in me, then that was something I wanted to look into. I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity.”

Volleyball has been a huge part of Rennie’s life, and she has been very successful throughout her career. As a redshirt senior at California, she tallied 115 kills and 12 service aces. She was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 2 of last year and earned Most Valuable Player honors at the CSU Rams Volleyball Classic Tournament in the 2019 season as well.  

Rennie has dealt with multiple medical setbacks, limiting her playing time. She received treatment for a form of cancer called Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that was a result of her 2017 liver transplant, and she is still recovering from a torn ACL she suffered in the 2019 season. 

What would have been regular season of volleyball play has turned into an extended off-season, helping Rennie focus on being able to recover fully.

“(Marquette’s) doing a great job protocol wise to keep us healthy and safe. I really appreciate them for that,” Rennie said. “That is going to help me and my health, and with my knee, I have a lot of time to focus on healing. I have really had a lot of time to focus on my health and that has been really helpful.”

While the season could possibly get underway in January,  Theis is looking forward to seeing Rennie help the team on the court. 

“Her volleyball skills are pretty high-end,” Theis said. “She is a dynamic athlete with really explosive arm and eye contact. She’s pretty versatile and she can play left or right side. I think she has the ability to score a lot of points.”

Rennie said she is looking forward to continuing her volleyball career and be with her new team.

“I am excited to continue the process and get to actually play with this team,” Rennie said. “We have a lot of talent and I am excited to see where we can take that because I think we can take that really far.”

This story was written by Molly Gretzlock. She can be reached at molly.gretzlock@marquette.edu or on Twitter @mollygretzlock.