Arroyo Grande graduate Emily Sonny was all set to join Arizona State in the fall. The two-sport star who excelled as a goalie for the Eagles’ water polo team and a middle blocker for the volleyball team, chose to pursue the pool in Tempe. But as her departure date neared, she had a change of heart after talking it over with her family.
“Nothing bad happened with ASU, it was more of a personal decision. My family and I thought that maybe I should go to Cal Poly,” Sonny said during a phone interview on Monday. “It is less expensive, and I am closer to home.”
So Sonny made the decision to back out of her commitment to ASU, join Cal Poly’s beach volleyball team and stay closer to her family.
Sonny said she has no hard feelings toward ASU, but added that her partial scholarship to play goalie for the No. 9-ranked Sun Devils still left an expensive tab. The average out-of-state tuition and fees was about $24,000 last year, according to CollegeFactual.com. In-state tuition and fees at Cal Poly is about $9,000.
“I would have loved to play for (ASU), great school, great program, but this was kind of a family thing,” Sonny said.
Sonny, who earned a 2015 Divison 3 CIF-Southern Section Player of the Year in water polo, is happy with her fallback plan and a future that involves teaming up with former Olympian and new Cal Poly beach volleyball head coach Todd Rodgers.
At Arroyo Grande last season, Sonny led the team in blocks and was second in kills on a team that went 23-7 and won a co-PAC 8 title. In 2015, Sonny was the Volleyball Co-County Player of the Year. Her choice to move away from indoor and focus on beach volleyball in college was in large part due to her health.
“Indoor, I love the sport, but physically my knees hurt really bad when I’m jumping on the court,” Sonny said. “I have been playing in beach volleyball tournaments this summer, and I haven’t had too much pain. I think it’s a good fit.”
The 5-foot-11 Sonny said that nothing is official yet, but she has been talking with the coaches about a potential scholarship and hopes to pursue an agriculture business major when classes begin.
“I love being around animals, and I think I want to do cattle management or something like that,” Sonny said. “I was in FFA, and I really like showing animals and raising them. Eventually I want to have my own farm.”
Sonny plans to join a Cal Poly team that was 8-12 last season in its third year as an official sport.