ASHLAND, Ore. — Coming off an outstanding high school career with Ashland, Allison Gida was sure her future was with the University of Utah.
“I was set on DI,” said Gida, “I really wanted to go to that level and I really thought I could play at that level.”
After two years, Gida realized she wasn’t happy with her situation. She said she wasn’t meshing well with the coaching staff and was struggling to find playing time with the Utes.
“I felt like I was losing my joy of the sport there and by the end of my sophomore year I just got to the point where I was like, I don’t care where, I just want to play,” said Gida.
That sophomore years is when she contacted SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy, who had recruited Gida out of high school.
“We look at all the local players, a lot of times they want to go and try something new,” said Kennedy. “When they make the decision to go Division One, we try to encourage them to say, that’s probably the best decision for you at this time, just keep us in mind in case something doesn’t work out.”
Kennedy has been the head coach of the Raiders for nearly a decade and knows DI transfers can be a valuable asset to the program.
“You have that high level of expectation on yourself, to prove to yourself that you can play at the Division One level, and most of them can,” said Kennedy. “Allison could have. If she had stayed she would have been fine, but I think sometimes you get to a point where your priorities change, you want something new, you want a different experience.”
Both Kennedy and Gida are happy with how Gida’s return home was worked out.
“I always say everything happens for a reason, so there’s a reason why I went out there, didn’t really enjoy it, came back here,” said Gida. “I’m so much happier here. You can see it in the games, I think and I feel it.”