Talkin’ Illini: Michelle Bartsch

Michelle Bartsch and her teammates celebrate their Pam Am Games gold medal. (Image courtesy of UI Athletics)
Volleyball All-American Michelle Bartsch ’12 AHS led Team USA to Pan Am Games gold this summer

How did it feel to represent the USA in a prestigious international competition?

Representing the USA is something very special. It’s hard to describe, but it means a lot to me—and I am so proud to be a part of something bigger than me. I love wearing USA on my back.

How did your time playing for the Illini prepare you for this summer of competition?

The best thing about my time at Illinois was having Kevin [Hambly] as a coach. He always pushed me to be my best, and continues to be a great resource for me.

What sparked your interest in volleyball?

I played everything imaginable growing up and didn’t exclusively play volleyball until I got to Illinois. I love playing any sport, but volleyball has always been so much fun for me.