From spikes 2 slam dunks

Kimberly Selway

For most college athletes, participating in a single Division I sport can be an incredibly strenuous and time-consuming activity. In addition to their commitments on the court, these athletes somehow manage to complete their schoolwork and find time for friends and family.

But senior Adrian Semrau has been an integral part of Villanova’s volleyball team for the past three years and, through no small feat, has also managed to contribute to the women’s basketball team in the past and hopes to do so again this upcoming season.

After completing the volleyball season, Semrau will begin training with the basketball team in November. At 6 feet 4 inches, she has been a key component of volleyball coach Gilad Doron’s strategy as a middle blocker, leading the team in kills and blocks in several games. Playing down those accomplishments, she’s upbeat about the upcoming basketball season.

“I’m devoting my off-day from volleyball, which is one day a week, to basketball,” she said. “It is hasn’t been too strenuous, but not having that one day can take a toll on your body.”

When women’s basketball coach Harry Perretta offered her a chance to play for Villanova, Semrau jumped at the opportunity because she missed her high school playing experience.

“I’m filling out the team for [Coach Perretta] because he needed some extra depth on the squad,” she said.

Although her eligibility to play volleyball for Villanova will expire after this year, she will be able to compete with the basketball team while she works toward her master’s degree from the School of Business.

Playing basketball “makes sense because [Villanova’s] willing to pay for an extra year of school for me,” Semrau said. “I’m helping [Coach Perretta] by being there in case he has injuries or if he needs to substitute a player.”

Even more impressive than her contribution to athletics at Villanova are Semrau’s academic accomplishments. She was named to the Big East weekly honor roll in early September and will graduate in May with a degree in Economics.

“My dad was really excited about the educational opportunities that come with playing basketball,” she said when asked about her parent’s reaction to her playing two sports. “It’s a real advantage to get the M.B.A.”

Athletic ability seems to run in the family – Semrau’s brother is a member of the University of Illinois men’s basketball team, and her sister plays volleyball for Hanover College.

After her time at Villanova is over, she is looking to leave her options open and travel a bit.

“The working world is kind of scary, but maybe if there’s an opportunity to pursue athletics overseas, that is something I would definitely be interested in,” Semrau said. “Staying here [an extra year] is nice because it will put off the real world a little longer.”