CPP alumna digs deep for a professional volleyball career overseas

CPP alumna Alex Bollier (’19, hospitality management and marketing) is fresh off a stint in the Philippines where she played professional volleyball for the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the Philippine Super Liga, a club volleyball league, starting in May 2019.

Bollier, who spent the first year of her collegiate volleyball career at the University of North Texas, ended up playing the rest for the Broncos until 2018. It was at CPP where she realized that playing professionally could be a real possibility.

“I think it was my junior year of college,” Bollier recalled. “It was just like a random thought that came into my mind. I just went with the flow and things looked right at the end of my senior year. I found an agent and there I was in the Philippines.”

Bollier graduated in 2019 with a degree in hospitality management and marketing. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

Playing in the Philippines was not a coincidence as Bollier, a Filipino American, had personal reasons for choosing her desired destination.

“Originally, I had a pal that was going to play in London and then she directed me to her agent,” Bollier said. “We talked about playing in the Philippines because my mom is Filipino and I’ve always wanted to go over there so I just thought that it would be a great segue and he knew some teams over there and just connected me right in.”

Bollier started playing volleyball at the relatively late age of 15. She was more involved with soccer and played that sport primarily before making the switch.

Before becoming a professional, Bollier spent most of her collegiate life at CPP after transferring from UNT. Even though she was originally competing at a Division I school, Bollier preferred to be closer to home in California with her parents, having grown up in La Habra while attending Troy High School. The Broncos gave her an opportunity to be where she wanted.

Bollier noted that CPP boasted an exceptional program for hospitality, the major she would later graduate in, and a volleyball program that would prepare her to overcome any obstacles she might face in her professional career overseas.

Bollier played as a redshirt Junior in 2017 and appeared in all 25 games for the Broncos. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

“Our coaches are very collaborative; they’re willing to listen and work with you,” Bollier said. “They’re just a great support system and the team is very committed to our goals. I think it just gave me the correct environment to challenge myself and push myself to new limits and that essentially set me off.”

Bollier enjoyed a successful collegiate career at CPP, where she was a libero, a player that’s known as a defensive specialist, for all four years that she played. She earned honors such as CCAA All-Academic Award Honoree for the 2018-2019 academic year, a selection to the 2018 D2CCA All-Region Volleyball Team and captured first team honors.

In her senior year, Bollier helped the Broncos achieve one of the most successful seasons in university history with a record of 24-6, their highest win total in a single season since 2005.

In her final season with the Broncos in 2018, Bollier appeared in all 30 games and anchored the defense by leading the team in digs with 535, averaging 5.25 digs.

Bollier credits her team in the Philippines, the Sta. Lucia Realtors, for helping her make a smooth transition from collegiate to professional volleyball.

Bollier was named a CCAA All-Academic Award Honoree for the 2018-19 academic year where she boasted a GPA higher than 3.40 in a minimum 24 semester units. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

“I would say the team that I played for felt like a big family,” Bollier said. “Everyone seemed to really care about each other and that’s also kind of like Filipino culture where everyone is sort of family-oriented, so it was nice.” International players in the Philippines served as role models for Bollier, who was experiencing cultural barriers living in a different country. Not only were they instrumental to her adjusting to life overseas, but also in teaching her how to carry herself as a professional during her first year of professional ball.

“Some of them have played many years professionally so I just got to learn from them,” Bollier said. “It’s a really independent lifestyle being a professional athlete, so you definitely figure out what you like in your free time.”

While in the middle of their Philippine Super Liga “grand prix” season, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and left Bollier and her team in a haze.

“It was crazy,” Bollier said. “We were waiting for updates on if we could play or not and then about mid-March it was pretty clear that the season was going to be canceled and then soon after that, I went back home and I’ve been here since.”

Bollier arrived back from the Philippines that same month and is currently attending the University of La Verne as an accounting graduate student.

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