Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Mayer’s successful return to play

Women’s basketball top scorer reflects on her transition to SPU, return to basketball
Junior forward Olivia Mayer (21) moves the ball up court against George Fox on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at Royal Brougham Pavilion in Seattle. (Rio Giancarlo)

It is a long journey for college students to figure out what they want to be and where they want to be after graduation. Whether they know the direction or have only a vague idea, planning and preparing for the future is difficult. Oftentimes, the bulk of college is a period of transition, such is the case for junior physiology Olivia Mayer.

Mayer, a forward and guard on the women’s basketball team, is a fall 2023 transfer from Whitworth University and is a top scorer for the 2024 season, amassing 265 points.

Before her time as a top scorer for the Falcons, Mayer was on a hiatus from playing basketball due to an injury.

“I tore my ACL three times in high school, and after the third one, I decided to quit. I was out for three years, but then I went to [Washington State University] and realized I missed basketball. That’s when I started playing again,” Mayer said. “I texted an old coach who recruited me, then I started playing basketball for Whitworth. I was definitely a little rusty, but it came back pretty quickly. I loved Whitworth, but I wanted to go somewhere at a higher level.”

Now that Mayer has returned to the court, she is grateful for the trust she has built with her new teammates. 

“It’s always nice coming to a team who trusts me to have that position [atop the scoreboard],” Mayer said. “Sometimes, teammates butt heads, but everyone on our team is really encouraging and wants us to do well, so it doesn’t matter that I’m the leading scorer. They just want someone on the team to do well.”

Aiming to move into a Division II league, Mayer chose SPU because of her familiarity with the program and the feeling of attending a “smaller school.”

“I knew I liked smaller schools when I transferred from WSU to Whitworth,” Mayer said. “Hailey [Marlow also] helped boost my decision because I grew up with her, and we’ve been playing together since we were six. I also got recruited by Coach Katie, who used to be the assistant coach when I was in high school. I already knew [a lot] about [SPU], so transitioning here was a little bit easier.”

Having transferred between three schools in the past few years, Mayer has switched majors and made associated adjustments to balance her schedule at SPU.

“I was a biology major at my other two schools, but it seemed like a better path to be a physiology major here … so I decided I would just minor in biology,” Mayer said. “The only difference [playing here] is it’s a more strict schedule. At Whitworth, we had a two-hour practice and a lift. [At SPU] we have a lift schedule, we [review] film, and then a three-hour practice schedule almost every day. It’s definitely a lot more of balancing my time.”

Mayer expressed she has no plans to pursue basketball after college. Following graduation in 2025, Mayer aims to become a first responder in preparation for her next stage in life.

“I’ve always been drawn to [medicine],” Mayer said. “I want to be an EMT for a year or two to get clinical hours, and then apply to med school or PA school. My mom’s fiance is a surgeon, so he has helped to push me [in that direction]. I’m definitely going to miss basketball, but my goal has always been the medical field after college.”

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About the Contributors
Uriah Aguon, Sports Editor
Uriah is a junior English: Creative Writing major. He has been with the Falcon since his freshman year, starting as a features writer, and is now the sports editor. Uriah hopes to remain on the Falcon staff throughout his time at SPU and continue writing in journalism following graduation.
Rio Giancarlo, Chief Photographer
Rio is a sophomore visual communication major with a minor in photography. Rio manages a team of photographers and illustrators to supply content for the greater SPU media groups. Before he took his current position he worked as a staff photographer, mostly covering sports. When not working for The Falcon he works for the SPU athletic department and as a freelance photographer. In his free time you can find him skiing, or wishing he was skiing. 
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