Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center crowd came alive as freshman Whitney Bower walked across the floor to shake hands with BYU administrators in recognition of her All-American honorable mention.
Highlights from Whitney Bower's freshman season (BYU Photo).
Just one year earlier, Bower was a Junior at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho, with hopes to be teammates with her sister Morgan again.
With grit, early graduation and an incredible support system, Bower established herself as a dominant difference-maker in a historic freshman season for BYU women’s volleyball.
Growing up with six sisters, Bower described her house as, “full of hair and curling irons and hardly any fighting… It’s honestly a household full of the best support system and best friends. I feel bad for everyone who doesn’t have all sisters because, oh my gosh, I love them.”
Graduating a full year early to join her older sister Morgan at BYU was not easy and the process changed Bower’s perspective.
“If I hadn’t graduated early, I wouldn’t have seen how many people played a role in wanting me to be successful and helping me progress,” she said. “Like my high school teachers… they all played the biggest roles and I am just super grateful. I think that’s really helped me strive to succeed and be who I am on the court and off.”
Bower’s composure and dominance never revealed her young age on the court. The large BYU crowds and her opponents would never guess she was only 17 years old for the majority of the season. Her confidence and maturity earned her a starting setter position and freshman program records. She finished second in aces, fourth in assists and eighth in digs.
Visibly, Bower glows with enthusiasm and a love for the game. In fact, that’s her secret to success and mental toughness despite critics. “I genuinely love volleyball and I want to get better,” she said. “I know there is so much room for improvement and I am just open to feedback and coaching and to advice… I just genuinely love it and I don’t want to ever stop playing volleyball.”
Bower also shared a bit of advice to fellow athletes or anyone working towards their goals, “Be all in” she said. “If you want something and you truly want to succeed at it, then you have to put in all your effort, constantly. Constant repetition is the key to getting better.”
It’s impressive to witness the positive energy Bower brings to a volleyball court. BYU looks forward to what they can accomplish in the next three years with her unique talent and grit.