The NCAA celebrates the third annual Division III Week on April 7-14. In honor of the event, SimpsonAthletics.com is taking a close look at four individuals who personify what it means to be a Division III student-athlete.
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Today, we share the story of dual-sport athlete, Morgan Terpstra. The senior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa earned eight combined letters in volleyball and basketball while maintaining Dean's List-worthy grades in the classroom. With volleyball and basketball seasons overlapping, Terpstra found herself in-season from August until March.
A true picture of patience, Terpstra showed that hard work and dedication can pay off. After playing sparingly in her first three years on the basketball team and sitting behind All-American Kate Nielsen, Terpstra experienced a breakout season in 2013-14. She averaged just 2.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in her first three years but led the team with 10.7 points and 7.1 rebounds as a senior.
- Name - Morgan Terpstra
- Major/Minor - Elementary Education with reading and coaching endorsements
- Activities - Volleyball, Basketball, student-teaching, Omicron Delta Kappa, CHAMPS Life Skills
- Awards/Honors - First Team All-Iowa Conference (basketball, 2014), Dean's List, President's List
- Future Plans - Pursue career as an elementary teacher in Central Iowa
Why did you choose Division III and Simpson in particular?
I wanted to further my basketball and volleyball career, and Simpson was the place that was going to allow me to do that. I really loved the campus when I got here, and the fact that it is close to Des Moines was a big plus.
I have had the opportunity to play two sports, I have been a conference champion and I have been to the national [women's basketball] tournament.
Last year getting to the sweet 16 in the NCCA tournament. It was absolutely amazing and I got to do it with a great group of girls and coaching staff.
In your own words, what does it mean to be a Division III student-athlete?
It means getting to continue your athletic career while going to college and getting a college degree. It is the most amazing opportunity I have had and I wouldn't change it for a thing.
It isn’t easy to play multiple sports, let alone two that overlap. How were you able to pull it off and what did Simpson and your coaches do that allowed you to excel at both sports?
Playing two sports was a great opportunity that wasn't going to happen just anywhere. Simpson gave me the opportunities. My professors were a great help and my coaches were also very flexible. I had to finish up my volleyball season before I could officially practice with basketball, that was [head women's basketball] Coach Niemuth's deal because he didn't want me to get hurt in basketball during the end of my volleyball season. Then when they did overlap, I had double-duty for practice. I would practice with volleyball then go and watch basketball practice on top of homework.