UTICA — Ohio State University student Emily Londot, who recently graduated from Utica High School, has been named to the 2020 U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team (U20) by U.S.A. Volleyball. Out of the 21 players named to the team, Londot is one of just six who have the distinction of both being on a Division I college roster while also having played on the U.S. Junior National (U18) team that won the gold medal at the 2019 FIVB World Championship in Egypt.

The announcement came early last week, but Londot and her teammates have known for a while. Ordinarily, getting named to the team means getting ready for world-class competition. These, however, are not ordinary times. Londot and her U.S. teammates were scheduled to compete in the NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship, which was originally set for May in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Due to the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament has been postponed several times. Prospects for the tournament, a qualifier for the 2021 FIVB Women’s World Championships, are uncertain.

“So now, (U.S.A. Volleyball) is having us do online training to teach us more about the game,” Londot said. “I think they are trying to get the best opportunity for the athletes. It’s an online academy where coaches teach you different aspects of the game. They’re just trying to give us the best opportunity in these times.”

This is an important step for all of the members of the U20 team. The next level up for some of these players would be a shot at the U.S. Women’s National Team and that’s where the U.S. Olympic team would draw from to fill their roster.

Londot works out every day; U.S.A. Volleyball, along with her Mintonette Club team and Ohio State have been giving Londot and her teammates workouts to stay active.

“It has been difficult not being in the gym,” Londot said. “Being in the gym was such a big part of my life. Taking two, three months off was really difficult, but I’m starting to get back in the gym twice a week with my (Mintonette) club. Just small sessions, getting touches on the ball. We’re not training for a tournament or anything. They’re just trying to give us opportunities to get better.”

If belonging to three extraordinary teams isn’t enough, she is also part of a fourth team — her own family. Few teams, let alone one family, can put as much volleyball talent into their backyard as the Londots. That includes Emily’s older sisters, Alyson and Rachel, and her mother, Laurie — all standouts when they played at Utica.

“I also work out outside in my yard with my sisters,” the youngest Londot said. “We’ve been peppering a little bit. Just trying to get some touches. My family is super-supportive of anything I do.”

Like her older sisters, Londot is getting ready for another big life change, when she moves into her freshman dorm at Ohio State.

“Once I get moved in, I’ll be able to work out over there,” Londot said. “We’ll be in small groups. There so many procedures we have to follow.”

If there is a tournament in Edmonton this year, expect the 6-foot-2 Londot to be ready. With her days of being the tallest person on the court now just a memory, the rest of her game has shined through. Londot spent her entire volleyball career playing just about every position, and is one of the most versatile players around. For those who watched Londot up at the net as a high school varsity player, getting the opportunity to see her on the back line is a real treat.

“Knowing things about each of the positions helps you to understand the game a lot better,” Londot said. “I’ve been watching my sisters play since I was three years old and just being in the gym with my mom. She’s been coaching forever. When you’re little like that, you just take in everything you see. When I was little, I didn’t know what I was going to be, so I just watched everyone.”

All of Londot’s training comes with the academic side, as she is also taking two online summer classes at her new school. Londot’s biggest triumph may be finding time for herself.

“Oh, I make time. I’m pretty good at sorting things around, so, I have a little time to myself.”


Geoff Cowles: 740-397-5333 or gcowles@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews