Multitasking in two sports and majors

Allison Schamber with a water polo ball at the Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center on Oct. 17, 2019. Photo by: Benjamin Hanson

Most students might think it would be impossible to be a double-major, but Allison Schamber is going just that, as well as playing two sports and working a job.

Schamber is a sophomore who is majoring in animal science and equine. She is on the swim and water polo teams and works as a lifeguard for Los Angeles County, a job she was able to get through playing water polo. 

Schamber said that she is able to balance everything and also tries to stay organized.

“It is a very heavy workload, but just always keeping track of my time and planning out my schedules before hand instead of waiting until the last second helps,” Schamber said. “The hardest part of balancing all of it is, probably, the time management, finding time to work, and just getting enough sleep so that you can continue with practices and don’t fall behind in classes.”

Judi Terhar, the head women’s water polo and swim coach, said that she believes sports help give Schamber an advantage when taking on this workload.

“It is because she is so strong willed and she is a very determined person,” Terhar said. “It is these sports, specifically, that make you a strong individual and make you be able to handle things in life that come your way, because you have fought through situations like this.”

Schamber began playing water polo her junior year of high school at John Burroughs High School in Burbank.

Schamber said that she enjoyed volleyball and swimming, so she thought water polo would be the perfect sport for her. After high school, Schamber went to Colorado State, but she was not playing water polo and really missed it.

 She transferred to Pierce College and became a full-time student in the spring, and is now back to playing water polo this fall. 

Schamber plays the hole set position, which Terhar described as equivalent to Shaq in basketball, or the center position. Schamber was voted a team captain of this year’s team.

Mircea Pitariu, the assistant women’s water polo coach, said that Schamber was made team captain because of how she is always helping her teammates and her positivity.

“She always has a positive attitude and she does a really good job when things arent going that well at keeping that positive mentality and keeping that drive to go forward,” Pitariu said. “She communicates well with the other girls and helps everyone get better as a whole.”

Schamber said that water polo has helped her develop leadership skills that help her as a team captain.

“Through water polo I learned to be courageous and just an overall really good leader,” Schamber said. “I’m someone who does things first, I don’t wait for others to tell me what to do anymore.”

The day before the first game of the season, Schamber injured her right shoulder. She isn’t quite sure how she injured it, but she still played in the first game Citrus College. 

Since the first game, she worsened the injury during practice and was unable to play against Santa Monica College on Wednesday Oct. 16. She is currently waiting to get an MRI and is hoping to be back in the pool as soon as she is ready.

Terhar said that she expects Schamber to be a commanding force for the team when she returns from her injury.

“She has got some wicked shots and we can’t wait to get her in a position where we can watch her dominate,” Terhar said. “I expect her to be the dominant player that we know she can be.”

Pitariu said that he expects Schamber to come back and have a meaningful impact on games for the team.

“If she makes a full recovery I expect her to play in playoffs and to have some really good games over there,” Pitariu said. “I expect her to lead our team as a whole.”

Schamber hopes that after Pierce College she will be able to go to the University of California, Davis and continue her major. 

Schamber said that she has always had a love for animals and that as a veterinarian, she hopes she can help animals.

She also hopes that she will be able to continue playing water polo and continue to swim after she leaves Pierce.

Pitariu said that he believes Schamber is definitely capable of playing water polo past Pierce and hopes to help her get her there.

“She would definitely be able to play at the next level and I would love to help her look for that next program, mentor her and coach her into that next level of play,” Pitariu said.

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