Indian volleyball player looking forward to joining the Ravens

The sport of volleyball has brought a lot to Osage senior Rose Colonius.

It has helped her make connections, taught her valuable lessons and now it will help her further her education after she signed with NAIA Benedictine College on Tuesday afternoon amongst her family, friends, coaches and teammates.

“I started playing volleyball in the third grade on the OYAC (Osage Youth Athletic Council) team and it just stuck with me ever since. I have a passion for it, it is super fun and I got some great friends and teammates out of it,” she said.

“Volleyball is my favorite sport so it is awesome being able to continue it in college.”

And she won’t exactly be alone either as she begins this new journey. The school in Atchison, Kan., has become sort of a pipeline for the Colonius family as her two older brothers in Jordan and Shane have attended the school. However, she was compelled to sign there by more than just a family connection.

“It is cool to continue my education while they are around and further my faith because it is a Catholic College. I am just really excited to play volleyball for them,” she noted.

“I practiced with the team and the team is really fun, welcoming and great people. The coach is super sweet and it is just a really welcoming environment.”

Osage coach Travis Squire has no doubt the senior will transition well and fit right in because of what he has seen from the three-year starter who earned All-Conference and All-District honors as a setter for the Indians.

“I’m extremely happy that she is getting this opportunity and I think it is well-deserved. She is a very talented girl and not a tall athlete, but anybody who sees her play is going to see that hustle and see her natural athleticism,” the coach remarked. “I know she is going to fill a spot on that team and do a great job for the Ravens.”

And it is that hard work that led towards a path to higher education. Colonius applied that mindset every time she stepped on the court for Osage.

“Always work hard because every time you work hard you get a good outcome. Even if you don’t win, you get an experience from what you made mistakes from and what you played well with,” Colonius pointed out. “Just always work hard, go to practice and have a good attitude.”

Squire certainly appreciated that mindset and consistency in effort on the court that helped the program reach 20 or more wins over the past two seasons.

“Rose is 100 percent effort when she plays. I know when she auditioned with them they were able to see that because that is how she played every game,” he noted. “She is tenacious, she hustles like crazy and she is a natural athlete.

“We had a couple of really good seasons there with a good group of seniors and Rose being one of them.”

If there was anything that could be learned from the example Colonius set, it was the determination to fight for every point.

“The play is not over until the ball hits the floor and I think that is one thing Rose demonstrated the best on the team,” Squire said. “‘The ball is not hitting the floor without my body going with it.’ I always liked that about Rose’s play.”

And of course, Colonius will not exactly be easy to replace as the program will look for a new setter to fill her spot.

“There is gong to be a big hole on our team. I mean, we have great players but to find somebody right now who can jump in there and take Rose’s spot, we are just going to have to be without that for a while and train somebody up to it,” Squire stated. “Fortunately, a lot of girls got to play along with Rose and they now have a great benchmark to try to live up to and achieve because she was a good setter for us. I know Coach (Leah) Appleby, our setter coach, is going to miss Rose too.

“I just wish her good luck and I’m looking forward to going and see her play.”

Colonius won’t forget all the memories made at Osage either.

“I’ll miss my teammates and coaches. I grew a bond with them playing for so long so I am going to miss all of them and the times we shared together,” the senior said.

And in parting words of advice to her younger teammates, her message remains the same.

“Always have a good attitude and work hard,” the senior stated.

Colonius plans to major in biology and go into pre-med as she pursues a career as a pediatrician.