Alex Berger’s recap as a Wildcat

AnnMarie Kent

Week after week senior libero Alex Berger’s name appears in the volleyball recaps, coming out as the leader in digs with almost every set played by the Wildcats. Her life as a ’Cat is coming to an end as the volleyball team enters its final weekend of regular season play.

Before Berger even became a Wildcat she was making a name for herself in her hometown of Shakopee, Minn. She was the team captain of her volleyball team at Shakopee High School, named all-conference and was an all-state honorable mention.

“I’ve played since I was probably nine or 10 years old,” Berger said. “So having it finally come to an end per se is a little bit on the scary side. It’s kind of starting a whole new world, but you have to do it sometime-you have to grow up sometime. But I’ve loved every minute of it.”

In the 2014 season Berger was named the team MVP. Within the conference she was ranked third in digs and fourth in digs per set, though she doesn’t take the credit for her accomplishments. Berger believes that everything she has been awarded is because of the people
supporting her.

“Well quite frankly, it wouldn’t have ever happened if it wasn’t for the five other players on the court, the 16 others on the team and all the coaches,” Berger said. “Nothing would have happened. If anything it shows—really, really shows—how appreciative people should be about their teammates. They wouldn’t be there without everyone around them. I always think to myself how much I can’t thank my teammates for everything and my coaches for everything they’ve done because they put me where I am, not just me.”

Her relationship with her mother is what has inspired Berger in life and in volleyball, and what she attributes who she is as a person as well as who she is in her morals.

“My mom is my rock,” Berger said. “She’s taught me since day one all my values and pushed me to stay who
I am.”

Berger suffered a fracture in her back during her career as a college volleyball player, but through the struggle she was able to come back. Berger said she came back from that injury mentally stronger, and it has pushed her to be the player that she has become.

Through four years at NMU, Berger has seen a lot of seniors leave and welcomed many freshman players on to the team. As seniors graduated it’s proven to Berger that those people are never really gone, and as new team members join it’s just adding to the number of great friends made from this sport.

“Every person on this team has rode with me through the ups, through the downs of life and of volleyball,” Berger said. “Every person strives to push you to be better every day. Within the hardships you become closer with everyone.”

In April, Berger will graduate from NMU with a sports science degree. She strives to coach at the collegiate level and help athletes move to the next level with
nutritional knowledge.

Sophomore season the Wildcats had a matchup against Findlay University, which Berger remembers as one of the greatest moments in her career as a Wildcat.

“We won a five-set match over a very good Findlay team that year,” Berger said. “You saw everybody play the best ball of their life. The fans were unreal. This year when we played Ferris it was the same thing, absolutely unreal. We beat a phenomenal team, who played well. Those on-the-court memories, two of them, they’re obviously the big moments and the things you never forget.”