Athlete of the Week: Ellie Sandholm


Jasmine McIntosh

“I would say my mom has always been my biggest source of inspiration…because she’s a working mom but still finds time for me and my sisters,” senior Ellie Sandholm said.

Olivia Burtram, Staff Reporter

In her final year at La Salle, senior Ellie Sandholm is playing her third year of volleyball as a Falcon and her 10th year of volleyball as an athlete.

Growing up, Sandholm tried many different sports but found her home on the volleyball court. “I played a lot of sports when I was younger, just trying them out for a season or two, and volleyball was the one that I liked the most and it kind of stuck,” she said.

Sandholm became a Falcon when she transferred to La Salle as a sophomore, and not knowing how it would turn out, she decided to try out for the volleyball team. “I played high school volleyball at my old school, so I figured I would try it out here and just see how the program is,” she said.

Her favorite part of high school volleyball, and the reason she has stuck around, has been the sense of family within the team. “You see all the people that you play with at school, so you definitely seem more like a family,” Sandholm said.

She also noted how she enjoys the environment of high school volleyball over club volleyball. 

Over the summer, Sandholm participated in camps and open gyms that took place at La Salle, and for her, the best part was seeing her teammates again. “You’re definitely closer with your teammates and it becomes a much bigger part of your life, which can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing, but for me, since I enjoy playing the sport, it’s more of a fun thing,” she said.

La Salle volleyball is seven games into the season and has gone undefeated.

Sandholm enjoys the feeling of winning, but it isn’t always the main focus. “It feels really good,” she said. “Especially the wins where we stayed at our level and became a better team because for our team, it’s not always [about] winning at this point. It’s more about getting better as a team, and we’ve done that in games and that feels really good.”

In fact, while reflecting on these seven games, Sandholm notes her favorite memories of the season not being the wins, but the process of playing as a team and bonding with her teammates.

“It was a match that we had last Thursday [Sept.8], we had two in one day, one against Putnam and one against Milwaukee, and that was just a day where we played really well as a team and we were able to communicate the best that we have been able to all season,” she said. “And the bus rides there and back were only varsity, so we were able to talk a lot more because it wasn’t as loud and it was just more chill and it seemed more like a team bonding experience.”

Looking to the future, Sandholm hopes her team continues to improve. “I want to be league conference champions and then I want for our team to play in the state tournament,” she said.