Ever since the second grade, Amanda Gonzales has been playing on the volleyball court. Whether it was playing with her friends or club teams throughout middle school and high school, volleyball is what she loved to do. Now a junior at UTSA, Gonzales is still in love with the sport she’s played her entire life.

Gonzales began playing volleyball with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) as a member of her church because she wanted to be with her friends. Gonzales was immediately drawn to the sport.

“That’s how it started off in second grade, and then we realized that we had a pretty good little team. We wanted to keep doing it, and we all loved it.”

Gonzales, a mathematics major in the teacher certification program, comes from a family with a history in teaching. Growing up with her mother as a teacher was a big plus and a big factor in her career decision.  “She really enjoyed being with the family during summers and holidays,” states Gonzales. “It is always what I have wanted to do, I just knew,” said Gonzales.

Along with teaching math to children, Gonzales has a desire to coach in her future after recently coaching a club volleyball team.

“I realized coaching is definitely something I am interested in and I love,” says Gonzales. “Being in the sport for so long, it’s something I can give my knowledge back to.”

Truth be told, Amanda has quite a bit of knowledge she can give back. The fact that she is short for her position at center and still produces consistent numbers speaks volumes.

During her freshman season, she became the starting setter, collecting four Conference-USA Freshman of the Week honors, earning Second team All-Conference-USA, Conference-USA All-Freshman team, Conference-USA All-Tournament team, named a Conference-USA Academic Medal award winner and named to the Conference-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Her junior year, she definitely has the ability to teach on the court.

When she isn’t in the classroom, playing volleyball or teaching others how to play, Amanda enjoys reading.

“It can seem kind of boring, but I enjoy downtime,” said Gonzales.“Reading is definitely something I take advantage of when I have time for it.” Amanda is currently reading “Behind Closed Doors,” which is a thriller novel by B. A. Paris.

Gonzales also enjoys listening to country music. “It’s pretty much all I listen to,” states Gonzales. But before a game, she listens to “Rise Up” by Andra Day right before the walk out. “Just me having quiet time to myself, not being distracted by anything, sitting down and thinking and relaxing,” said Gonzales. “I just have to sit down and prepare myself for the match.”

Amanda decided to go to UTSA due to the close proximity of her hometown of New Braunfels, Texas.

“I wanted to stay close to home, so my parents and family could come to games,” Gonzales says. Along with the program doing well and great coaching, the girls on the team also drew her to UTSA.

“I liked the culture they had and how they were really close and did stuff together on and off the court. I really liked that atmosphere,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales has now become part of the culture herself and has enjoyed every minute of it. Gonzales even reflects on the nostalgia she feels signing posters after matches. She used to attend matches as a young girl and have her volleyball posters signed by players she admired. Gonzales and the volleyball team will be back home this Friday, playing UAB and hopefully signing some posters after a good win.

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