The Journey of a High School Athlete

Recently, Notre Dame High School athletes who have received scholarship offers from colleges have revealed which college they are going to attend. One of these athletes is Tate Mercer ‘23 who was ecstatic to receive an offer from the University of New Orleans to play D1 volleyball. 


Tate Mercer commits to the University of New Orleans.

Tate was first introduced to the game of volleyball at the young age of 7 years old. Ever since she started playing, her love and passion for the game has only increased. Beach Volleyball was the first sport she ever played. Since then, she has participated in summer camps, many clinics, and club teams. Tate realized that she enjoyed playing indoor volleyball more than beach volleyball so she decided to focus on that. Her first club team was called Sunshine Volleyball Club Team. She played for this club for a total of 4 years. She greatly enjoyed playing for this club because of the lasting friendships that she made, as well as the great coaching staff. This club helped to develop Tate’s skill for volleyball and really taught her what it means to play competitively. “Sunshine cemented my deep love for volleyball, as well as my determination to become better at the game.” Her club team has participated in many national tournaments and placed first in the nation when she was in eighth grade. Mercer was happy to be surrounded by like minded people who helped her develop as not only a player, but a person as well. 

In order for Tate to become better at volleyball she decided it would be beneficial for her to start playing on teams where the girls were older than her. When she was 12 she played on 14y teams, and when she was 14, she played on 16y teams. Playing with older girls showed her the higher level of volleyball she had to play in order to keep up with them. This high level of playing forced her to become more competitive and developed her game much faster. “When I am playing volleyball, I am able to direct all my whole mind and body into the game. I can get into a state of focus where all that matters is winning the game.” This intense focus was not developed overnight, it took many tough games and losses in order for her to reach such a level.

It was in 8th grade when Tate realized that she wanted to play college level volleyball. She began reaching out to coaches of different college teams to try and receive recognition from them. Some of her Sunshine Volleyball coaches also introduced her to college level coaches. One of her coaches had a connection with the assistant coaches of the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama. She went to their camps and really enjoyed her time spent there. She later found that both the schools’ roster were already full for the year of 2023. This saddened her, but did not dampen her determination to play college volleyball. She then received an offer from the University of New Orleans and went to visit the school. This school immediately felt right to Tate and she felt called to go there. 

Tate is going to play D1 volleyball for the University of New Orleans, and then plans to pursue a career in sports psychology.