Produced by Allison Wilson and David Prusinski
Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.
David Ryan Vander Meer‘s life has been anything but ordinary. His path to Senior Night at Ball State has taken him from his kitchen table in Grand Rapids, to volleyball courts across the country, back to the beaches of Michigan.
Throughout the journey. His family has supported him.
David Ryan was homeschooled along with his siblings at the family dinner table. While his mother, Michelle, never envisioned herself being a teacher, she guided her children through their high school educations. Without organized school sports, the Vander Meers mentored their children with volleyball.
Michigan doesn’t have a sanctioned high school volleyball program, but the Vander Meers created their own volleyball facility, Carpe Diem Volleyball, in Grand Rapids. What started as a two-court facility has expanded, with leagues, tournaments, and club teams.
Each year the Vander Meer’s organize the only beach volleyball tournament in the region, bringing national competitors to the shores of Lake Michigan. The beach represents more than just volleyball for the family.
It was on the beach where David (father) and Michelle (mother) met in a tournament and began their lives together. It’s also the same beach where David Ryan knelt and proposed to his girlfriend this year.
The Vander Meers forged their passion into their careers. As David Ryan closes the Ball State chapter in his volleyball career, he will play the game he’s grown up loving and seize every opportunity to continue playing.