“We were trying to plan something and Torey looked at her calendar to see what she had open,” Regina said. “There was one Saturday between now and May.”
Torey DeLozier is indeed quite busy. The Maranatha sophomore is one of a select few student-athletes who competes in three intercollegiate sports. Even fewer excel in those sports, as DeLozier did this fall when she led all of NCAA Division III in two major volleyball statistical categories. Even fewer can also play double bass in the college and church orchestras. And, even fewer can do all this while maintaining a 3.88 GPA in Math Education.
“I don’t like sitting around,” DeLozier said.
There hasn’t been much sitting around for DeLozier, 20, since she began playing competitive sports as a third-grader in Bolingbrook, Ill.
“I just love sports—the intensity and the competitiveness of everything,” DeLozier said. “It certainly makes the school year go by faster.”
The 2010-11 school year started with a bang for DeLozier, who ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division III in kills per set (5.93) and points per set (6.58). She helped lead the Crusaders to a 21-15 record and a spot in the semifinals of the national Christian college tournament. The Northern Athletics Conference named her its player of the year.
“Most players just play their position and react to the ball,” Regina DeLozier said. “Torey has the ability to be proactive. She can look at the other court, read the defense and the blockers, and adjust to what’s going on. She can make adjustments in the air. She’s also one of our best passers and has the best sharp cross in our whole conference.”
Torey improved her attack percentage to .375 from .325 her freshman year—a season in doubt for her until the first game. She had suffered torn shoulder ligaments that spring as a high school senior while playing goalkeeper for Maranatha Baptist Academy’s girls soccer team.
“The way God allowed my shoulder to heal was pretty amazing,” DeLozier said. “I don’t even notice it now unless I have five or six games in a week.”
Volleyball may be DeLozier’s primary sport, but she has made significant contributions to her other teams as well.
The 5-foot-10 forward averaged 8.4 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Crusaders during her freshman basketball season and was averaging 8.1 points and 5.6 rebounds through nine games this winter.
“She is athletic and can really jump,” Maranatha women’s basketball coach Clayton Morrison said. “She is a tremendous asset because of her competitiveness and her desire to win. She doesn’t like to lose.
“She has been given some physical gifts by God, but she’s also disciplined and budgets her time very wisely. She’s exceptional.”
DeLozier played softball last spring for the first time since eighth grade and was second on the team in batting average (.365) and on-base percentage (.420) while playing outfield and catcher.
”One of our umpires said last year, ‘You have a gazelle in center field,’ ” softball coach Rob Thompson said. “Her ability to chase down a ball in the outfield is her most amazing quality. She is one of the most gifted multi-sport athletes we’ve ever had at Maranatha while at the same time possessing a sweet, humble, and servant-minded spirit and attitude.”
That attitude was instilled by her parents. Regina and Kent DeLozier, both three-sport athletes at their Oklahoma high school, spent 13 years coaching their children’s youth sports teams. Regina coached back-to-back high school state championship volleyball teams in Illinois before coming to Maranatha in 2007.
Torey said sports has always been the area in which she feels most comfortable expressing herself.
“I can have fun and laugh and talk with my teammates; in social settings, not so much,” DeLozier said. “My social life is hanging out with my teammates.”
DeLozier said the key to keeping up academically has been what every freshman is told—time management and planning.
“If I’m sitting down, I know I need to be using that time wisely,” DeLozier said.
To avoid sitting down, DeLozier also helps in the church nursery, has earned her referee’s license in volleyball and will coach the River City Volleyball Club age 15-under team through its winter season.
“When Christmas break comes, then I’ll take a break,” DeLozier said. “I promise.”