This week’s athlete of the week is senior in nursing Erika Ivkov.
Ivkov has been on the volleyball team for four years at Pitt State but began playing the year before entering high school.
Ivkov enjoys volleyball and playing with her teammates.
“I like the adrenaline rush,” Ivkov said. “I like that it’s a team sport and that you can’t do it independently. You have to work together and communicate. It’s all about the team effort and I think that’s really cool that you have to be able to come together as a team and be able to be successful. I think that’s really cool to be able celebrate that…”
Ivkov maintains a 3.77 GPA as a nursing major but balancing course work with volleyball, or any other sport, is no easy task.
“…I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support,” Ivkov said. “This school is one of the few that allows you to do nursing and do athletics as well and I know that’s pretty rare. I know a lot of nursing schools are pretty strict and they don’t allow athletes to play sports while they’re in school. So, I got really lucky and I’m really fortunate to have professors and just the school be able to work with me and do both of those things… That’s really, really awesome for me. But I have a really good support system. My parents help me, my roommate’s awesome. I just wouldn’t be able to do it without everybody around me.”
The volleyball team is nearing the end of the season and Ivkov hopes to see the team make it to the conference tournament.
“Honestly, seeing the culture change (has)… been really cool for me,” Ivkov said. “I mean it hasn’t happened yet, but we should have a pretty good shot at making the conference tournament and ever since I got here, it was a goal coming in my freshman year, but it wasn’t something that we had done continuously. So.., we’re hopefully, crossing our fingers, (going to) make it this year. It’s a really big accomplishment and its cool to be able to see that done in the time that I’ve been here.”
According to Ivkov, she has many supporters within her family and at Pitt State.
“I couldn’t do it without my coaches,” Ivkov said. “…They’re kind of like moms to me here since I don’t have my parents. They’re about ten hours away but my parents have been my biggest rock and my brother, they’ve both been my biggest supporters and fans ever since I started athletics in my whole life. So, I couldn’t do it without them. But my coaches have helped me a lot and they’ve just been here the whole time. I have some really good professors that have been supportive the whole way. I mean I have a large group of (people) around me that’s been pretty awesome. So, I couldn’t do it without them.”
Being a part of the team has been an enjoyable experience for Ivkov she said.
“… This group of gals has been really unique and fun to play with and its definitely different than any other team that I’ve been a part of thus far,” Ivkov said. “I mean we have great chemistry and we just have a good time and we hope to see some more change coming. So, it’s pretty awesome…”