Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Athlete of the week: Mia Soerensen

Jonathan Porter

Volleyball transfer Mia Soerensen has not always been the volleyball star we know. The opposite hitter played a variety of different sports growing up, such as track and field and swimming, but none of them stuck. This was until her eighth grade year when she started playing volleyball. 

Soerensen credits her role models and coaches for her work ethic. The people she looked up to pushed her to reach new heights and inspired her to pursue her volleyball career. 

Mia grew up in the small town of Meadville, Pennsylvania. She says she learned to appreciate the small-town community during her senior year of high school while working at a local coffee shop and getting to know everyone personally. 

“Seeing the same faces and the regulars was something really special to me, so I really value a small-town community.”

Sorensen’s college recruitment process was different than what she thought it was going to be. While getting recruited, COVID-19 was at its peak and affected everything. She says she thinks she made her college decision prematurely compared to how she would have without the pandemic going on.

“Obviously everything happens for a reason,” Soerensen said. “I’m glad I decided on what I did and I’m also really happy with the choices I made that led up to coming here.”

Before transferring to UTSA, Soerensen attended Kent State. She chose the university mostly because of the campus scenery and its neuroscience program. Soerensen has good memories from her freshman year. 

“My experience with the team was amazing, they are such great people,” Soerensen said. “I miss them all, but you have to do what is always going to be better for you and your mental health.”

Although Soerensen enjoyed Kent State, she ultimately decided to transfer to UTSA after her freshman year. 

“I chose UTSA because of the coaching staff and I really clicked with the girls,” Soerensen said. “I could tell that they were cultivating a really positive culture and that’s one thing I really wanted to be a part of.”

Sorensen’s skills range from volleyball to being an aspiring neurologist. She loves both fields, but is willing to take whichever opportunity comes her way in the future. 

“I would love to pursue volleyball further. If that’s an option I’m totally going to follow that. You only have your youth and your healthy body for so long, so it’s definitely a route I would be considering.” 

Soerensen would love for her volleyball career to keep evolving, but she is keeping all doors open. Neuroscience is not a common degree path for most people, but Soerensen has an encouraging story that sparked her love for neuroscience. Her story shows you to take whatever life throws at you and roll with it. 

“When I was in fifth grade, I had a really bad concussion. So, I would see a neurologist pretty often, just to make sure that I was fine,” Soerensen said. “I had such a great doctor and just seeing how caring and helpful she was to me during the process of recovery, I think that was my moment of inspiration in life where I was like, ‘I want to be like her’.”

Soerensen is very thankful for the opportunity she had to pursue volleyball. She recalls her grandmother speaking about her youth and describing how she did not have the same opportunities.

“I think it’s really special to be a woman in sports,” Soerensen said. “Growing up, my grandmother would always tell me, ‘You’re so lucky, I didn’t get to experience this.’ They would not let the girls participate in sports. I’ve always been really grateful and lucky for everything that I had and I could do, including Title IX in college and making sure that women are treated fairly.” 

Soerensen is excited for the remainder of the volleyball season. 

“I’m looking forward to just continuing playing for my team,” Soerensen said. “I just love every single one of them so much and I’m so happy to be here. As well as competing in a new conference, that’s really exciting to me.”

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Hope
Elizabeth Hope, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Hope (she/her) is a senior and a communication major at UTSA. She is originally from Montana and moved to Austin when she was 11. In 2022 she earned her associates degree in journalism from Austin Community College. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in journalism or policy and advocacy for environmental issues. Outside of work and school she enjoys playing piano, reading and making jewelry.
Jonathan Porter
Jonathan Porter, Photographer
Jonathan Porter is a sophomore digital communication major at UTSA. After graduation, he plans on becoming a sports marketer. This is his second semester with The Paisano as part of the photo staff as he aims to improve on his craft and make new connections. He has been doing photography since his senior year in high school and since then, he has dabbled in portrait, landscape, event and sport photography. With The Paisano, he has taken pictures of numerous sports, events and campus life. In his spare time, he likes to workout, meet new people and work on his photography. While not his major, he enjoys getting to gain more experience with photography and even has plans on creating his own business in the future.

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