Avondale High School Athlete Signs with Grand Canyon University

Yellow Jacket Emma Ahern to play volleyball for Division I college

Avondale High School senior Emma Ahern is on her way to Phoenix, Arizona next year to play volleyball for Grand Canyon University. Ahern was signed by the college during a special event at Avondale High School with her family, friends and coaches watching. “Emma is one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached,” said Doug Steinard who coached Ahern in soccer where she was a starter for four seasons. Other coaches at the event talked about her work ethic noting that in addition to volleyball, club volleyball and soccer, Ahern also played on the Lady Jackets basketball team. Avondale School District Athletic Director Keith Gust spoke about her level of commitment to athletics. “Playing the volleyball club schedule in addition to her schedule here at Avondale demonstrated a high level of dedication on Emma’s part and is a testament to her passion for being a top athlete,” he said.

Emma Ahern signing with Grand Canyon University while her father Dale, brother Ryan and mother Nancy watch

Emma Ahern signing with Grand Canyon University while her father Dale, brother Ryan and mother Nancy watch

Avondale coach Joe Podvin described his first impressions of Ahern, “she had great speed and was a hustler. Right away I could tell she was a hard worker with a lot of integrity.” At 5-9, Ahern is a natural athlete and fierce competitor on the volleyball court. Highly effective in the key positions of outside hitter an defensive specialist, she’s earned All-League honors, served as team captain, and earned the volleyball team’s MVP award. “She’ll do well at Grand Canyon,” added Podvin.

Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, a Division I school in the Western Athletic Conference, is a long way from Rochester Hills, Michigan where Ahern resided with her parents Dale and Nancy Ahern. “Phoenix is a long way away,” said her father, “but this is a chance for Emma to play with top athletes in a top division school. It’s such a great opportunity.”

“I’m excited to play for GCU,” said Ahern, “and I’m really happy about this opportunity. Grand Canyon has a great sports program and amazing facilities. Athletics is important to them and it’s important to me,” she added. In addition to her athletic achievements, Ahern maintains a 3.5 GPA and is a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. She plans to study Biology/Pre-med and go in to Chiropractic medicine.

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