Photos by Hillary Ehlen and Daniel Kwon/NDSU Athletics
Allie’s First Year By The Numbers
Matches Played: 28
Sets Played: 98
Wyndmere High School record-breaker Allie Mauch is living her best college life under the tutelage of her volleyball role model Jennifer Lopez.
Allie Mauch’s fascination with North Dakota State University began as a kid. Her parents have proudly owned season tickets to football games at the Fargodome for 15 years. She grew up watching the Bison transition from a Division II powerhouse to Division I upstart. She wanted nothing more than to be a part of the excitement surrounding the program.
Mauch grew up 45 minutes out of Fargo in a small farming community called Barney, North Dakota. There’s no grocery store but there’s a gas station and a restaurant that her and her Wyndmere High School graduating class of 12 enjoyed eating at.
Every summer, the NDSU volleyball program hosts team camps. These camps give teams from around the area an opportunity to come to the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse and play scrimmages with members of the NDSU volleyball team. Mauch jumped at her first opportunity to go to the camp before her high school career began. She was put on a team with a pair of incoming NDSU freshmen Brianna Rasmusson and Jessica Jorgensen.
“It was like a dream having two in one.” – Allie Mauch
Mauch recalls thinking to herself: “Why am I on the same team as these super good incoming freshmen?” A year later, her recruitment to NDSU began with head coach Kari Thompson and assistant Jennifer Lopez asking her about becoming a Bison after high school.
One of the first players Mauch remembers watching was Lopez. The future NDSU volleyball head coach was a fearless setter for the Bison. Lopez led the Bison to four straight Summer League titles and three tournament appearances.
Lopez ended up coaching Mauch’s Junior Olympic team in 2016 and placed third in Orlando. Getting the opportunity to play under Lopez for another four years was too good to pass up.
“It was like a dream having two in one,” Mauch said. “Having your coach and your volleyball idol in the same position. Then all of a sudden, coming to college and having the same thing.”
Mauch and her teammates “screamed with excitement” earlier this year when NDSU announced Lopez would become the permanent head coach after a half season with the interim label.
Mauch is one of the two North Dakota Class B alumni on a roster with six student-athletes hailing from North Dakota. The local connection isn’t by accident, according to Lopez
“It takes a special person and a special type of student-athlete to be successful here,” Lopez said. “I think it’s important for us as coaches and even our athletic department to be aware of those kids who are in our area who we know can make an impact on what we’re trying to do.”
Mauch is already making an impact on the volleyball court for the Bison through one season. She played in 98 sets throughout all 28 matches NDSU played in this year. Mauch ranked third on the team in her freshman campaign with 162 kills.