The Magallon family, of Nucla, traveled last week to Hutchison, Kansas to watch their daughter, Macie, compete in the national championship tournament for junior college volleyball. While competing with the best of the best (the top 16 junior colleges in the nation), which included tough teams from places like Florida and Texas, the Magallons were surprised to learn Macie was also recognized as one of the top players of the national tournament. 

Magallon played high school volleyball in Norwood, and afterward began playing for Adams State University in Alamosa two years ago on scholarship. Last year, though, she red-shirted, before transferring to another college. 

Last fall, Alamosa’s head coach had recommended Magallon move to La Junta, Colorado to play for Otero Junior College, a change that Tammi Magallon, Macie’s mother, said she remains grateful for. Otero Junior College took Macie on their junior college team without so much as a tryout or interview, based on Adam’s State’s recommendation.

Tammi said the smaller school has been a good experience for her daughter. 

“It’s been perfect for her —a small town, a good fit,” Tammi said. “She did well with the team and the school.”

After a successful volleyball season, Otero advanced in their postseason tournament to the national championships. This last weekend on the court was exciting. There Otero fell to Seward County in the second round. (Seward went on to place runner-up at the national championship.)

Macie had 19 kills in her final game.

“This weekend was exciting and kind of surreal for all of us,” Tammi said. “We’ve watched her since the fourth grade.” 

After the finals, the Magallons stayed to watch the awards ceremony, just for fun. Unbeknownst to them, Macie was named all-national team, an honor just a few girls were given. 

“I was not expecting it at all,” Macie told The Norwood Post. 

She said her coach and teammates were proud. 

Tammi said the tournament was full of very skilled players, some of them from overseas on exchange from countries like Brazil or Spain. She said it was highly competitive.

For her and other Otero parents, it was a proud moment to see a group of what were many small-town, Colorado, former 1A players on the court, front row, competing at an advanced level.

Tammi agreed it’s good for local 1A high school girls to see. 

“There is room for you,” she said. “You can work hard and get into college. Junior college is important, and if you want to go, it can be a good step.”

Macie said she agrees her work could be inspirational to other young females in the Norwood area. 

“Just because you’re from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t compete at a higher level,” she said. “It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to compete with 5A schools or 5A girls.”

Magallon will graduate Otero in December. She’ll then move on to a four-year school, where she’ll continue volleyball. 

In the meantime, she said she’ll celebrate her team’s recent victory by relaxing and having a Thanksgiving break at home. 

“We were seventh in the nation,” she said. “We made history for our school. We won Region 9, and then made it to nationals.”