Sophomore Claire Opar has been cherishing the last few weekends of the Davenport farmer’s market as summer comes to an end. She walks around browsing what the vendors have to offer, but one thing is certain.
“I never leave until I have tasted all the different watermelon samples and determine which is the best,” Opar said.
Her Saturday mornings will soon be devoted to something much more competitive than watermelon tasting. Opar takes her spot on the court as a rookie middle blocker for the women’s varsity volleyball team. However, when it comes to this position, Opar has years of experience.
“When I first started, I was the tallest on my team so they stuck me in the middle and I’ve been there ever since,” Opar said about her days playing for the Y.
Still one of the tallest players on the team at five-eleven, Opar’s favorite part about the SAU women’s team is the chemistry an dhow close she has gotten with the team. Another favorite part of the game is the support from her biggest fans, her parents. Attending nearly all of her games, they have offered unconditional support both on and off the court.
When Opar is not playing, she is traveling the world. Last spring break she went on a mission trip to Haiti.
“It was one of the experiences of my life,” Opar said. “I learned so much about myself; this trip opened doors for me and there is no doubt in my mind that I am going to do more in the future in Haiti.”
Looking into the future, the elementary education major mentioned that it would be a dream to intern at an orphanage in Africa and possibly make it a career. This coming spring, Opar will be abroad yet again. Her spring semester will be spend in Ecuador.
Wherever in the world Opar ends up, her roots will always be in Davenport. Dubbed with the nickname “Townie,” Opar grew up roughly a mile from campus.
She makes the trek home now and again for one thing that Franklin residence hall does not offer, an oven. She loves to bake. Cupcakes are her specialty.
“You can’t understand until you have tasted one, and let me tell you they are good,” she teased about her kitchen skills.
While not everyone has the chance to taste one of her cupcakes, they do have the chance to watch Opar wearing number 20 on her back as she takes the court with the rest of the women’s volleyball team in their home opener on September 17 against Ashford University.