'Summer' Warms to Wins as a BVU Graduate Student

Summer Goss works toward a master's degree in organizational leadership while enjoying success on the court, as the lone senior on the court on the Beaver volleyball team.

Summer Goss, the only senior on the court for the Buena Vista University volleyball team, stepped to the center in a happy huddle and exclaimed, “There was no blip! We didn’t have a blip!”

The senior libero then threw her arms in the air and led a chorus of teammates in shouting, “Beavers” following the team’s exciting three-set sweep of Central College in American Rivers Conference volleyball action at Siebens Fieldhouse.

Volleyball huddle

She reflected on the moment a couple of days later. With a smile, she says, “It would be awesome to stay here and play for a long time.”

In some ways, the Treynor native has stayed here and played a while. After all, Goss has already picked up her undergraduate degree, having earned her Bachelor of Science last May in the BVU Commencement exercise in this building. Rather than pack up and head out, she stayed put and enrolled in the BVU graduate program in organizational leadership, intent on one day entering hospital administration.

“We were lucky to get her back on the court for us this fall,” says Aubrey Havlichek, BVU’s second-year head coach. “It’s so cool she had the trust in us as coaches and what we’re doing on the recruiting end.”

“It is so much fun playing for coaches Havlichek and (assistant coach) Rosie Aumann,” Goss says. “Sometimes it’s me and five freshmen on the court and that’s OK. All of our players are learning to trust in one another.”

“Coming to BVU was a great decision for me. It’s my second home.”

Summer Goss

As a defensive player, Goss says she relies on front-line players to deliver points, hitters such as freshman Kaitie Serkiz and sophomore Sydney McLaren.

Goss toils in the back row, where she’s approaching 1,300 career digs and moving up on the top five all-time at BVU. Her 99 service aces place her fifth on BVU’s all-time chart in that category. She’ll also likely surpass the 1,000-assist mark in BVU blue and gold.

While individual numbers are a nice way to fill out the game program, Goss and her teammates are most interested in victories. A 5-set triumph at Simpson College on Wednesday gave the Beavers their second straight ARC victory and put the team at 2-1 to start the league campaign. 

After three straight match victories in Michigan over the weekend, the team, now 8-10 overall, rides some momentum heading into home dates Friday evening and Saturday afternoon as the Beavers celebrate Senior Night and Parent’s Day in contests versus Loras and Dubuque, respectively. For their efforts in a 4-0 week, McLaren and Goss, on Tuesday, were named the American Rivers Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

“Our goal is to continue to work to limit runs by the other team,” says Goss, who majored in biology as an undergraduate and earned her diploma in three years. “A ‘blip’ is when we lack focus and let the other team go on a run. We’re trying to eliminate those.”

There were none versus Central and scant few at Simpson, resulting in much more consistency for this senior and her squad.

“How Summer carries herself is night-and-day different from a year ago,” Havlichek says. “She’s really a bright spark. She’s doing her job and playing consistently. We’re so happy to have her back.”

Goss smiles, thinking about the huddle and the reactions following those recent triumphs. She realizes she’s grown both on and off the court since she stepped on campus four years ago and one diploma ago.

Volleyball action

“I remember many times feeling like I should change my major because I wasn’t sure I get through biology,” she says. “My advisor, Dr. Kristy McClellan (associate professor of biology) kept telling me I could do it.”

Goss now attempts to instill that confidence in her teammates as the second BVU graduate student to ever don a BVU uniform in American Rivers Conference play. Her senior season continues into the postseason as the Beavers, the ARC’s No. 6-seed, travel to face No. 3-seed Dubuque, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the opening round of the league volleyball tournament.

“If I could stay here on campus and play with my teammates and for these coaches another four years, I’d sign up immediately,” she says. “Coming to BVU was a great decision for me. It’s my second home.”