Rougeau keeps busy with UHart volleyball, track
Olivia Rougeau has learned the key to success in college. All it takes is one power nap a day to keep her motor running.
The 2015 Milford High School graduate and three-sport star for the Spartans is only two months into her freshman year at the University of Hartford and she’s handling her hectic schedule like a well-trained senior.
"The transition is a really big one," Rougeau said of graduating from high school to college. "I’ve already learned so much that’s made things easier than I anticipated.
"Free time is not my thing. Between track practice twice a week, lifting, my classes and volleyball I’m going non-stop. But I’m keeping up with everything. I manage it pretty well. The key might be my naps."
That’s a guaranteed 20-minute nap she sneaks in daily. She’ll sneak a second one in if the opportunity presents itself.
However, there isn’t normally a chance for that.
A typical Monday begins with 6:30 a.m. track practice, which runs until 7:30-8 a.m. From there, it’s an hour (8-9 a.m.) in the weight room for the volleyball team’s lifting session.
She has her first cluster of classes between 9:30 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. before getting her 20-minute nap in prior to volleyball practice, which runs 12:45- 2:50 p.m. She’ll get some school work done, have supper and relax a bit before finishing her day in classes from 5:45-8:45 p.m.
"I’m really happy," she said. "I didn’t think it would be this good – in the classroom and training."
On the court, she’s literally killing it. Rougeau is fourth on the Hawks in kills with 112, averaging 1.44 per set over Hartford’s 20 matches.
She’s played in 78 sets of those matches, including six starts.
Rougeau has been strong defensively as well. The 5-foot-10 middle blocker and right side hitter has 13 blocks and 32 digs to her credit.
"My vertical has definitely improved," she said. "What I’m getting out of my high jump training is helping me elivate at the net. I wasn’t sure if I could, but I definitely wanted to come out and help contribute to the team right away."
Despite the program’s 5-15 overall record (2-5 America East Conference) Rougeau is certainly contributing on the volleyball court.
She’s also making strides during track practice.
For the 2015 NHIAA Division II indoor and outdoor high jump and long jump champion, that’s saying a lot.
"I’ve already learned so much thanks to the coaching," Rougeau said. "My technique over the bar has improved and I’m clearing 5-2 1/2 on my first jump now."
She won her high school titles at 5-4, while also setting two records in the indoor 4×200 relay (1:45.57) and outdoor 4×100 relay (48.68) along with Amy Arena, Nicole McMorrow and Viankah Williams.
Things are a little different down in Hartford. There’s more stress and less downtime, but it’s nothing Rougeau can’t handle with one 20-minute nap per day.