Student-Athlete of the Month: Alivia Fraase

Fargo native and star libero finds perfect match as she digs in to Education double major

Alivia Fraase

Alivia Fraase, a junior from Fargo, is double-majoring in elementary education and early childhood education, with a minor in special education. Photo by Jackie Lorentz.

When UND volleyball star Alivia Fraase watched UND-NDSU volleyball games in high school, she knew she could “dig it” for UND.

She was right.

“The atmosphere is so cool,” she said. “I thought it would be great to play in such a great community, and I knew the atmosphere and competitive nature would fit perfectly.”

The junior from Fargo is double-majoring in elementary education and early childhood education, with a minor in special education. She had 583 digs last year, the second-most in UND history, and has been integral in UND’s NCAA-leading 19 wins.

“I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else,” said Fraase.

Fraase began as a biology major with the idea of becoming a dentist.

“The first semester was an adjustment. I took one science class and decided it wasn’t for me,” she said.

Alivia Fraase

As a volleyball defensive specialist, Fraase (No. 5) had 583 digs last year, the second-most in UND history, and has been integral in UND’s NCAA-leading 19 wins, as of Thursday. Photo by Jackie Lorentz.

Ace in education

The results of career aptitude tests suggested teaching, and she really enjoyed spending time with her young niece.

“I took a child development class with an observation field experience and loved it,” Fraase said.

“Once I found what I was looking for, all the work, assignments, grades took care of themselves,” she said. “The professors encourage and inspire me to be the best teacher I can. The professors are the coolest people I’ve met on campus, especially in education.”

In a typical non-game day, Fraase wakes at 6, hits the weight room from 6:30 to 8, races home to eat breakfast, goes to class, does classroom observation from 12:30 to 5:30 one day a week and practices in the afternoons four to five times a week from 3 to 5:30. Then, it’s homework.

“I have a lot of support from the coaching staff and the professors,” Fraase said, who added she was concerned about fulfilling student teaching requirements while still being an athlete.

“I needed to do student teaching for my degree and Amanda (Hajdu), the athletics academic advisor, called every contact she had to see if another athlete had done student teaching.” Hajdu found a way for Fraase to fulfill the full-time student teaching requirement, lift weights and still attend practice. “Coach (Mark) Pryor has a lot of faith that I can succeed in doing both.”

Fraase said the extra work is paying off.

“I found what I want to do, and that makes it easier to balance being both an athlete and a student. It’s still stressful and hard, but knowing what I want to do makes the whole experience worth it.”