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Mustang Spotlight: Tia Miric – Beach Volleyball

From Richmond Hill Ontario, Canada to San Luis Obispo, California, Aunt Miric has had a decorated beach volleyball career. To commemorate Ella’s amazing Tia’s career at Cal Poly, we take a look into Ella’s Tia’s Journey to being a beach volleyball player at Cal Poly and her Ella’s goals for after graduation.

Being from Canada, it was common to transition from indoor volleyball to the sand courts of beach volleyball. However, Tia went the opposite route, having interest in beach volleyball before indoor volleyball.

“I got into beach volleyball actually, at a really young age,” Miric said. “I think I was like nine or 10 years old and it was actually before I’d started playing indoor volleyball. And the way it started was, I have an older sister who’s six or seven years older than me and my dad had put her in a beach volleyball camp, and I came with them one day just to watch my sister do the camp.(And then) I just kind of hopped in the sandbox.”

Tia has always had a place in her heart for beach volleyball, and knew she wanted to play beach volleyball at a very high level one day. But to transition from beach volleyball in Canada to the mecca of beach volleyball here in California, was a drastic change.

“It’s extremely different. The beach volleyball community in Toronto is strong, but it’s really small so there’s definitely not nearly as much competition. The places where you can play are really limited. We have one beach by the lake. And then there’s one to three indoor volleyball facilities that you can train in over the wintertime. So it’s good at times, but it’s really limited compared to here where there’s tons of amazing competition.”

A big selling point for Tia to come play beach volleyball at Cal Poly was the opportunity to play for former Olympic gold medalist and one of the greatest beach volleyball players of all time, Todd Rogers. Tia’s former beach volleyball coach who is also a former Olympian, John Childs, helped Tia during the recruitment process and her dream of playing beach volleyball in California and for Todd Rogers at Cal Poly.

Tia Miric Senior Night“When he called, my dad and I were both so giddy because I grew up watching him on television. It was my favorite thing to watch beach volleyball and having Todd Rogers call me was a dream. I was a little bit starstruck the first couple months, but it’s been amazing. Now he’s like my dad. I’ve been here for almost five years, and it’s been amazing. He’s the best coach I’ve ever had for sure. He’s such an awesome guy.”

being coached by Todd Rogers for nearly five years has facilitated profound growth for Tia’s development as a player, but also as a person.

“The way I’ve changed is being coached by Todd, I feel like a completely new player. He’s grown like not only my physical and my technical game, but more than anything, my mental game, and my understanding of the game and things He’s given me just a little insight into his brain about the game like I think nobody could ever reach his knowledge of the game.”

Tia’s growth at Cal Poly has resulted in a decorated beach volleyball career full of amazing achievements on and off the sand. She is second all-time in career wins with 98, the first three-time AVCA All-American as well as the first player to be named First Team All-Conference four times. She was also the 2019 Big West Pair of the Year with Crissy Jones, who was the first Cal Poly duo to win the award. Off the sand, Tia was a three-time Big West All-Academic honoree and was Cal Poly’s 2021 Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

“I’m most proud of being the Big West Scholar Athlete of the Year. Just because to me, that kind of highlights the work that I put in the classroom, which is extremely important to me, and then also getting recognized for the athletic side of things was amazing. So tangibly, that’s definitely my proudest accomplishment. But more than anything, I feel like I’m just most proud of how I’ve changed as a person at Cal Poly. I feel like, you know, getting to compete with a team being coached by Todd, going through difficult academic times are just as difficult as athletic times. that.”

All great things must come to an end. Even though her playing career at Cal Poly is over, Tia hopes to continue playing beach volleyball at the professional level after Cal Poly while balancing her full-time job after graduation.

“I’m going to be an actuarial analyst at a company called AON down in Los Angeles. It’s my dream to become an actuary. An actuary is basically like a Risk and Insurance analyst. I’m the middleman between corporate firms and insurance companies , together with corporate firms with insurance companies to help companies cover their rights.If my job allows it, I would love to try to continue playing beach volleyball, but I don’t know at what level that’s going to be like. played a very high level here at Cal Poly so I’d like to play at a high level outside of division one beach volleyball.”

Regardless of what Tia does with beach volleyball at the next level, she will always be remembered as one of the best beach volleyball players Cal Poly has ever had.

Story by: AJ Panetta, Cal Poly Athletics Communications Intern

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