Volleyball player Raymond Barsemian received a full tuition scholarship to Concordia University Irvine beginning in the fall of 2016 for his academics and athletics.
Barsemian played four years of high school volleyball at Crescenta Valley High School prior to making the decision to attend Pierce College.
Lance Walker has been the head coach of the men’s volleyball team the past 4 years. Walker also played at Pierce and won a state championship.
“When we first recruited him, he was just a very humble individual,” Walker said. “He had the opportunity to go to California State University, Northridge and decided that Pierce might actually be a better fit for him.”
The players work together as a unit not just as a team.
“He would have been going to Northridge as a walk on. He took a chance in our program and we are grateful for that.” Walker said.
Men’s volleyball and women’s volleyball are able to motivate and help each other out. Isaiah Williams and Bea Hernandez find Barsemian to be an asset to both team.
Barsemian and Williams have known each other since last summer. Williams is the setter on the team.
“I received a real friendly aura from first meeting him,” Williams said. “Watching him play, I was impressed by his athletic ability.”
Bea Hernandez is on the women’s beach volleyball team and has known Barsemian since last semester.
“He’s tall and he has an amazing vertical,” Hernandez said. “I definitely see him going far in his career as a player.”
Although he qualified right out of high school, Barsemian has taken the opportunity to grow as a player while at Pierce
“He’s a pleasure to work with, it’s good that we will have him for a year and get to see his progression,” Walker said. “He’s a talented guy and a lot of guys in our league can’t match up with his physique.”
Volleyball wasn’t the only reason Barsemian choose this college.
“I was pretty excited; I was waiting for other top schools. I decided that it [Concordia Irvine] was the best overall option, it’s a little church school,” Barsemian said. “I’m pretty religious, I go to church every Sunday.”
He didn’t start out in this sport originally but his heart led him in that direction.
“I played basketball my first year as a freshmen and I wanted to play volleyball because basketball was done. Then I fell in love with it after the first day.” Barsemian said.
His plans for the future include playing professionally in Europe, Italy or Russia after graduating then coach.
“He’s dedicated and he loves the sport a lot, that will only push him to get better.” Hernandez said.
“He instills his trust in me which gives me a major confidence boost while playing,” Williams said. “If Raymond was not on our team this year we would be missing a key component needed to be successful.”
Pierce College started off Barsemian’s college career through a showcase tournament this past November.
“He was looked at by a lot of schools, he got a few offers and he choose Concordia Irvine,” Walker said. “There’s a great coaching staff over there and I think it’s a great fit for both the coach and for Raymond. It makes us really happy over here too.”