Junior Matt Cosgrove’s journey to becoming a Division I athlete


Courtesy of Matt Cosgrove

Jumping up in the air, junior Matt Cosgrove winds his arm back to serve the ball. Cosgrove turned down four other offers to commit to Pennsylvania State University to continue his volleyball career. “[Playing club] is a lot more competitive and challenging than playing for your school because you play kids all around the country, and it forces you to raise your level of play,” Cosgrove said.

After playing volleyball for three years, junior Matt Cosgrove committed to Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to continue his volleyball career. 

“Penn State came to watch me play with my club team [High Performance] in Chicago last summer. I felt so loose, and I ended up playing really well there. That’s when I [felt like] they really wanted me to come to take a visit,” Cosgrove said.

Ever since the summer before his freshman year, Cosgrove has been on the radar of college recruits. 

“All of the college coaches would text my club coach, and my coach would text me until it got to the time that I could directly text them; that’s when I started to get excited,” Cosgrove said. “That’s when I started to get offers and take visits.”

Cosgrove was also looked at by Pepperdine University, Lindenwood University, and Loyola University but ultimately chose Penn State.  

“I was contacted by other schools to play volleyball, but [the moment] I [walked] onto the campus at Penn State, [I was] like ‘wow.’ You just can’t say no to that school; it’s beautiful from the facilities to the school itself,” Cosgrove said.

Although Cosgrove led the team last season in kills with a total of 235, he still feels that’s not the best that he can do athletically. 

I feel like the peak of my game is yet to come. With the help of my coaches and teammates, I feel like they’ll get me there,”

— junior Matt Cosgrove

“I feel like the peak of my game is yet to come. I think that it’ll come this year or next year and then continue on for more years to come,” Cosgrove said. “With the help of my coaches and teammates, I feel like they’ll get me there.”

Cosgrove decided not to wait another year to let more offers come in; he knew this was the place he wanted to be.

“I am committing really early compared to other players. Usually, for volleyball, you commit after your junior season or even your senior season, so to get the opportunity to commit early is big to me. It makes me feel accomplished,” Cosgrove said.

As Cosgrove prepares for the future, he feels he has learned what it takes for student athletes going down this path.

“Work hard, make sure your grades are good and be coachable. You’ll stand out from other kids in your class, but you have to make sure you set yourself apart from the rest,” Cosgrove said. “I worked on my game, then I got recognized, so I worked even harder to get an offer.”