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Shark Spotlight: LIU Volleyball Libero Alasha Colon

By: DANIELA PEREZ LEAL / CHIEF ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR


(Photo by Daniela Perez Leal)

There is a star shining in Brooklyn.


Libero Alasha Colon came to LIU Brooklyn and dazzled during the 2023-24 season. She was named NEC defensive player of the year, led the NEC in digs and digs per set, broke the LIU program record for digs in a match and was awarded NEC Prime Performance ten times. 


“My achievements are a result of my passion because you work hard for what you love. I set my mind to it from the beginning and I succeeded. However this would not have been possible without the support of my teammates, my parents and my coaches, without them I would not have made it,” Alasha said. 


Behind Colon’s success on the court is a beautiful soul full of love and brightness. She is a strong woman who keeps fighting for her dreams and aspirations, knowing that God and her parents are first in her life. 


Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the 21-year-old player started to play volleyball when she was eight. She grew up watching her aunt play volleyball, who also played the same position as her. 


“Volleyball is a passion that runs through the veins of my family and it is a gift that God gave me,” Colon noted. “Since I was a child my mom took me to the park and I was there playing volleyball, so I realized I could be good at it. I asked my mom to take me to a volleyball club and the rest is history! I have never stopped playing since that day when I was just eight years old.”


She decided to come to New York City to play volleyball and the path has not been easy at all. 


She started at St. Francis College, however, in March 2023 the school announced the elimination of all athletics programs, leaving all their student-athletes in a hard situation. 


Despite that, Colon overcame the situation with the support of her family. She came to Long Island University, alongside her coach and some of her teammates. 


“It was a hard situation, however, this happened to me for the second time because one of my previous high schools closed their programs and I had to move to another high school to continue with volleyball. When I faced this situation at St. Francis I was so scared to get into the transfer portal and also to think about the idea of starting again but my family gave me the strength I needed and they encouraged me to believe in myself and I was lucky that my coach was hired by LIU. I came here to continue working with him and my teammates that also came to LIU,” Colon said. 


After securing a place to go, Alasha came to LIU to make history because, since her first day, she started to shine and stand out in the entire LIU athletics program. 


Being the Captain, she helped lead her team to the NEC Championship. She described this past season as the best season of her entire career because she accomplished one important goal and was also just two points away from breaking the NEC Prime Performer record in the LIU program.


“It has been my best season. The season was interesting because we qualified as the last team, I mean number four in the top four. Even though it was a difficult relationship on our team because it was a combination of athletes coming from St. Francis and those who were continuing at LIU, we decided to come together and do our best to achieve the goal. Definitely, without the support of my teammates and my athletes, I would not have achieved all that I have achieved,” She explained. 


Going in deep, she shared how she managed the situation of being a new athlete with great success and also being named by her coach as the team Captain for the 2023-24 season.


“I came to LIU as a new athlete and my coach made me captain. It was hard but my teammates welcomed me with a lot of love and always gave me all the support I needed and made me feel welcome at all times,” Colon said. 


Alasha is someone who gives positive energy. She is always shining with a beautiful smile and brings happiness and kindness to everyone around her Despite all her achievements, she stays humble, always tries to help others and gives back to her community.


“I think my energy and the way I treat others are the things that make me special. I am always trying to cheer people up, make them laugh and make them feel happy,” Alasha said.


Since mental health and finding balance are so important for athletes, she explained how she tries to manage herself during stressful times. 


“It is hard to find the balance during the season, however, I try to take care of myself and when I am under so much pressure I start to block the stress and I start singing songs in my mind, I also write in my journal,” Colon said. 


In addition to the importance of mental health, Alasha expressed how important it is to have a good team of support. She mentioned her friends, family, coaches and boyfriend, who all help her overcome challenges and face difficult situations, especially while she’s far from home.


“I get homesick a lot but I am always in touch with my parents and my boyfriend Joseph makes me feel safe and at home. Also, my friends and coaches mean the world to me, friendship for me is a treasure, they have been there for me in the good and bad, taking care of me,” she stated. 


Alasha’s eyes sparkled every time she talked about volleyball and she said that the sport saved her, especially during her first time as an international student since the adaption process is hard. 


“Behind the achievements, there are many anxiety attacks and moments where you break down and just want to cry. My first year was not easy but volleyball saved me and was my safe place. In addition to that my coach supported me a lot, he was and is someone who was always there to help me and listen to me,” Alasha said. 


Knowing the importance of serving the community, Alasha loves to be a role model for high school kids who dream of being good volleyball players and inspiring others. 


“I like to inspire others! Here in New York, I have had the opportunity to influence others. I volunteer during the season as a coach in a little high school, teaching them how to play and improve. All the kids have my phone number so they know I am here for them anytime they need me,” She said. 


Alasha is majoring in Psychology. After her graduation, she plans to play professionally in Italy or back home and at some point, she wants to continue with a Master’s and pursue her professional career. 


“I would like to do my Master's in Forensic Psychology or Criminal Psychology. However, first of all, I want to play volleyball at a professional level in Italy or back home,” Colon said. 


A bright future awaits her and she sees herself as a successful woman, professional and player, in addition to the exciting plans that she has. 


“In the short term, I see myself playing professionally in Italy, and in the long term I plan to do my psychology Master's. While I study I visualize myself as a wife and mother, also I want to travel around the world and enjoy life,” Alasha expressed.


Alasha keeps working hard and now she is in the spring season. Even if motivation is not always there, discipline and dedication are present every single day of her life and she has good reasons to keep fighting. 


“The dedication is always here! God is the first reason that keeps me fighting hard and after that my parents and my coaches. They are putting so much effort into my career, so all the achievements make me so happy and also represent the way to give back to my coaches and parents for all their work and thank them,” She said. 


Colon’s story is one of success, dedication, passion and love. She represents an example to the future generations who dream of becoming awesome athletes, human beings and students. 


The most important thing here is that even if you take away all the awards, volleyball and her career, she remains a happy soul who shines and makes the world a better place. She is a ray of sunshine to all the people around her and an amazing human being.

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