It didn’t take Marisa Guisti long to find a new school where she can continue her volleyball career.
A little more than two weeks after La Salle University announced it was cutting volleyball, Guisti committed to transferring to Butler University this spring.
“It ended up working out,” said Guisti, a La Salle-Peru graduate and former NewsTribune Volleyball Player of the Year. “They actually have a sports media program, which is exactly I want to go into. At La Salle, they didn't offer a specific program geared toward sports in the communication department. Butler’s is a nationally-ranked program. That was huge for me.
“The fact I got to continue playing volleyball was obviously a bonus. I knew I wanted to continue playing and Butler offered me that and academically, I can’t pass up getting a degree there.”
Guisti joins a Butler program that competes in the Big East Conference and is led by veteran coach Sharon Clark, who has 12 winning seasons, seven 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 seasons leading the Bulldogs.
“I’m super excited to compete in the Big East,” Guisti said. “I’m a fan of all the schools in that conference. We got the opportunity to play Villanova when I was at La Salle and we beat them. I’m excited to face them again.
“The entire coaching staff is every experienced, especially coach Clark. She’s been there for so many years. I’m excited to join a program under her as well as meet the team and get started with them.”
Guisti had a successful freshman season at La Salle as she played a team-high 110 sets, started 26 matches, led the team in blocks (81) and finished fifth in kills (185).
The 6-foot-1 middle blocker was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team and was on the A10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
“They have a pretty stacked team,” Guisti said. (Clark) thinks there’s room for me to improve and she can help me get better. She doesn’t think I’m at the peak of my performance yet, which was the biggest thing for me committing there athletically. She was one of the only coaches who told me that. For me to be able to go to a program and get better and compete with girls who are very athletic and have that competitive atmosphere is really important to me.”
Another bonus for Guisti is being closer to home. At La Salle she was in Philadelphia, but at Butler she’s in Indianapolis, which is about a 3 ½ hour drive from Peru.
“I knew I wanted to stay a little closer to home this time because it was inconvenient for my family and friends to come visit me, so I felt like this was the best choice,” said Guisti, who also visited Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri State and St. Louis universities.