With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the spring sports season, the seniors of EMU's spring sports teams missed out on their Senior Recognition Day. These young men and women deserve to be honored and celebrated for their years of learning and growing as a Royals student-athlete.
EMU Athletics is running this special series as a way to recognize them, allowing each senior to speak for themselves as well as their coach to share about them.
The fifth article in our series celebrates the men's volleyball team and their lone senior, Martin Pou.
Martin transferred to EMU after his freshman year without previously playing volleyball. He has since made his way to a starter on the court, Royals Athlete of the Week, and team captain this past season.
~ Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite
What is your favorite memory of being a Royal?
That's a tough one. I would have to say I have three very special moments. The first one was my first ever volleyball game two years ago when we swept #3 SUNY New Paltz at home. Then when we beat Juniata in five sets in our conference tournament quarterfinals. But the most special moment was against Elizabethtown last year in my first ever start, which I had my career high for kills (21).
What is something you have learned about yourself while at EMU?
There are no limits unless you make one. I transferred to EMU without any volleyball experience. I used to play sports all year round during high school, and I missed it and I wanted to learn a new sport. The summer before I transferred, I worked every day and I used all my earnings to pay for volleyball lessons. I reached out to multiple schools and no school was willing to give me a chance to play volleyball until I contacted Danielle. She gave me the opportunity to join the team, and probably regretted it at first due to me having no volleyball knowledge, but I didn't quit when things were hard. I was able to improve and become this year's captain for the program.
What are your future plans?
As for my future plans, I am going to be doing an internship as soon as possible and applying to grad schools. There's a chance that I come to EMU for grad school to play my remaining two years of eligibility. But if I do not come back to play, I would like to thank my parents, the EMU Athletic Department, all of the volleyball coaches and mentors I've had, the athletic trainers, alumni teammates, and my current teammates for helping me get better, and having my back on and off the court.
Coach Danielle Lickey says:
Martin has one of my favorite senior stories. He came into the program his sophomore year with very little training in volleyball. Our first year was fraught with frustrations and tough lessons. Martin demonstrated perseverance and dedication through that adversity and came out the other side a good leader, a good volleyball player, and a good man. He was a captain for our team and showed commitment to the program, the coaching staff, and his teammates. He always wanted to do better and worked to do so. He took critique and coaching with grace and treated the team with the same ease. I am lucky to have been able to challenge, coach, and learn from Martin. He holds a special place in the heart of our culture and in our programs values and will live on in the difference he made for his teammates and the team.