« Volleyball 2013

Lena Oliver


Western Michigan

Early Childhood Education


Oliver is currently maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 3.31, including a 3.50 and a spot on the Dean’s list during the Spring 2013 semester. Oliver is also a two-time Academic All-MAC honoree, taking home the honor in both years in which she was eligible (2011, 2012).


Oliver has a been a team leader for the Broncos from the moment she stepped onto the court her freshman year; as a four-year starter for the Broncos, Oliver’s athletic and academic accomplishments have made her a valued leader on the team. Vocal on the court and in the locker room, she commands the respect of her teammates and coaches thanks to the example she sets.


Oliver is a pen pal for elementary students at Delton Kellogg, corresponding with them and periodically visiting them at the school. She has also visited the students at El Sol and Indian Prarie Elementary schools, playing volleyball with them and talking with them about the qualities Division I athletes use that can translate to the real world, such as teamwork, focus, and perseverance. In addition, Oliver wass a pen pal with elementary-aged students partnered with the Broncos in the the Mid-American Conference Adopt-A-Team program at the 2012 MAC Tournament.

In addition to her work with local schools, Oliver is active in other facets of the community. She volunteered at the Comstock Daze carnival, running activities and games stations for local children (some of whom, in fact, recognized her from her playing career as well as her other volunteer efforts). She also spent a week working at Point Summer Camp, teaching middle school-aged girls about the game of volleyball through drills, games, and other activities. She volunteers with Park Village Pines and the Open Doors Shelter, painting gazebos and houses for use by the less fortunate, and has also given her time at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, feeding the less fortunate and working in the warehouse. Oliver joined her teammates in three other volunteer opportunities, as well; she helped clean up at the Black Arts Festival in downtown Kalamazoo, interacted with Girl Scouts troops from Kalamazoo, and presented to the companies Fabrikal and HQ Salon on leadership, accountability, and character.


Oliver has established herself as one of the most accomplished players not just in the Mid-American Conference but also on a national level as well. The 2012 MAC Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-MAC performer, Oliver routinely finishes in the upper echelon of the country in digs per set and has led the conference in each of the last two seasons. She is also a two-time COBRA Magazine National Defensive Player of the Year, earning the award in 2010 and 2011. She ranks second all-time in program history with 1,927 career digs, and will become just the second player in program history to break the 2,000 dig mark.