Athletics allow students to develop leadership and team building skills, and also provide an outlet to a healthy lifestyle. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III athletics at The University of Olivet is the perfect way for students to continue the sport they are passionate about throughout college or even participate in a new sport.
The women’s lacrosse team is working to become a frontrunner in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) under Head Coach Kaitlin Feeney. The team is looking for student-athletes who are interested in developing the fundamentals of the sport through hard work and dedication to improve themselves, as well as the overall team.
Coach Feeney is a native of Amherst, New Hampshire. While The University of Olivet may be new to her, Division III athletics and liberal arts are certainly not. A 2011 graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Coach Feeney earned a bachelor’s degree in health science and sports medicine while playing on the women’s lacrosse team for four seasons, including a season as team captain. She also holds a master’s degree in sports and exercise science with a coaching emphasis from University of Central Florida. In addition, Coach Feeney built three years of coaching experience around the nation and even earned the Southeastern Women’s Lacrosse League Coach of the Year award in 2015 before coming to The University of Olivet for the 2017 season.
“Going to a small, liberal arts school allows you to build strong relationships with your teammates, coach, professors and even community,” said Coach Feeney. “There’s also a balance and understanding of athletic life around academics that motivates student-athletes to be the best they can in the classroom first, but also on the field.” In fact, the women’s lacrosse team was honored with the MIAA Team GPA award in 2015-16 for maintaining a team average of 3.431 and in 2014-15 for a 3.522 average.
With a short roster, there is plenty of room for new talent on the lacrosse team. Even freshmen are given the opportunity to earn their spot as a starter. All students at Olivet are eligible for financial aid, and with a long list of grants and scholarships, along with admissions representatives who will help you every step of the way, it’s easy to make college an affordable reality.
“First and foremost, I want players who love The University of Olivet because being here and loving their surroundings will create positivity that translates into the rest of their lives,” Coach Feeney said. “My goal is to help build a team of student-athletes who care for each other and turn into well-rounded professionals.”
The average class size is less than 25 students at Olivet, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1 in 32 majors and 24 minors. Classrooms are packed with new and innovative technology, and the campus boasts abundant student resources such as free tutoring, an internship coordinator, and an expert Student Services staff to meet all other needs. In addition, the ever-growing Cutler Athletic Complex provides student-athletes a specialized place to train, study and recover whether they are in season or out.
“We aren’t the most experienced team, but we strive to be the most hardworking team,” said Coach Feeney. “The team isn’t looking for perfection, only to better themselves. Most of the players have less than two years or experience, but we do well with what we have and give 100 percent in practice every day. I know at this level of dedication we will get to where we want to be.”