Alli Lowe


The 2019 Patriot League Player of the Year actually came close to never playing volleyball.

“[In seventh grade], my mom told me I had to play a sport in the fall because she didn’t want me to just come home and do nothing.  I’d played sports my whole life; she knew that it would be good for me. She’d always tried to push me toward volleyball and I’d always said no.  So, I was going to run cross country, and I hate running more than anything—like, more than anything. God knows why I was going to run cross country just in spite of my mom,” junior Alli Lowe said, ending with a laugh. 

From Kennett Square, PA, Lowe is a Peace and Conflict Studies concentrator with a focus in Latin America, as well as a minor in Political Science and a starring role on the Colgate volleyball team. 

Lowe and the Raiders have put in extra time this year, guiding them to a 24-7 season and a quarterfinal berth against Texas Christian University (TCU) in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.  Despite preseason not starting until August, Lowe and most of the team came back to campus early.

“This year, a big group of us were back July 18.  We were living on campus, just training on our own because we’re not allowed to work with coaches until our initial report date, which was around August 9,” she said. “From then until our first games is preseason, and we have double sessions, so we have two three-hour sessions per day, and either lift in between or something else.  It’s really intense. Volleyball is your whole life at that point. School is not going on, there’s not many people on campus other than athletes; volleyball is our whole focus,” Lowe said.

Lowe’s passion for volleyball is obvious.  No sane person would dedicate 20 hours per week during the fall semester, eight hours per week for about half of the spring semester and 20 hours for the rest of the semester to something they do not absolute love. 

“[Volleyball] is awesome.  It’s a lot of hard work—first of all, it’s a lot of time commitment.  We have at least two hour practices everyday. We have lift, we have conditioning, we have film, individual [training sessions].  It’s a lot, but it’s rewarding. You’re working with a small group of people—there are 17 people on the team and we have three coaches—and everyone wants to be there.  Everyone wants to be working hard. It’s not like in high school,” Lowe said. “In high school, [volleyball] was so much fun, but people would do it just to play a sport.  Everybody who’s playing at a Division 1 really loves the game and wants to be competing and wants to be there. Playing at Colgate is so rewarding because we’re so close. The coaches do such a good job recruiting that we’re all genuinely good friends…The teams that I’ve been on at Colgate have been such an amazing little community.  I love it,” Lowe said.

Lowe’s teammates magnify her love of volleyball even more.

“[The Raiders are just] like a little family; like a home away from home.  I’ve never felt homesick here, because I know that all my best friends are here.  [They’re] not only my best friends, but they’re also going to push me hard. They’re making me better, like I’m making them better,” Lowe said.  “[During winter break], it’s normally like a week before [I start missing them]. I’ll say something to my sister that I would say to my teammates and she’s like, ‘You’re so weird, why would you say that?’  And I’ll be like, ‘No, I swear, people back home—or back at Colgate; see I call it home— would think this is funny.’ I miss them so much. By the time everyone is coming back, I’m so excited to see everybody,” Lowe said.

Even though Lowe recently won Patriot League Player of the Year, the type of award most athletes obsess over, she is not done.

“My bigger goal is just to win a ring with my team…Individual awards are great, but that team championship means so much more to me,” Lowe said.