If you would have asked senior volleyball player Macy Reece where she saw herself in three years for her senior season when she was a freshman, it would not be where she is now.
Reece graduated in three years with a major in finance and a minor in accounting and is currently in graduate school working on her MBA. While balancing graduate school, Reece is also engaged and planning for her wedding in May, all while playing her senior season at Auburn.
“I never would’ve pictured myself in grad school and engaged. It’s just so crazy to think about,” Reece said. “When I got here, I actually thought I was going to go into the medical field because I’ve always had a math and science-based mind, and I guess I just completely switched over to finance.
“Finance is math so it made sense, but I couldn’t tell you where I thought I saw myself because at that point in my life the future seemed so far away. Now that it’s approaching, it’s hard imagining that I actually have to go job searching and thinking of someone else besides myself with having a fiancé.”
Reece came from a basketball family. Both of her parents played basketball at Vanderbilt University, and her sister played at Samford University. She had always played basketball but realized it was not what she wanted to put all of her time, effort and energy towards.
“My freshman year of high school my basketball coach sat us down and gave the team this speech about how basketball should be our number three priority after God and family, and, for me, I realized that it just wasn’t,” Reece said. “I ended up making the decision right before the regular season to quit and just do volleyball. Obviously with my height it helped a lot, but with good training I got good at it eventually.”
Reece did not begin playing volleyball seriously until the year before she started high school. She played all throughout high school in her hometown of Hendersonville, Tennessee, where her high school team won a pair of state championships.
“A bunch of my friends decided that they wanted to play on the middle school team, so I figured I might as well too," Reece said. "A big group of us started playing, and I was terrible, like really bad. I was on the ‘B’ team and just not good at all. I ended up making the decision right before the regular season to quit basketball my freshman year and just do volleyball. It ended up being a good thing because I could focus more of my time and energy toward volleyball.”
Throughout her sophomore year, Reece was recruited by Auburn and committed the summer prior to her junior year.
“Auburn was one of my first visits, so after that, on all of my other visits I just started comparing everything at every other school to Auburn," Reece said. “I would see something and just think, ‘well that’s just not as good as Auburn.’
"I went on a few other visits, but it got to a point where it was just solidified that I wanted to come here and commit to Auburn."
Since being at Auburn, she has played in 223 sets with 473 kills, 114 total blocks and 547 points.
“There’s so many memorable things that have happened for me since my volleyball career started here at Auburn, but my favorite would have to be when we beat Florida my sophomore season,” Reece said. “It was just so fun. We weren’t expected to win, so that made the outcome so much more fun."
Aside from volleyball, Reece has been very successful academically at Auburn. She was on the 2014-2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll during her freshman year and maintained being on the SEC Academic Honor Roll every season following her first year. She graduated in three years this past May and is currently one of 42 in her cohort for the MBA program.
“Getting accepted into the MBA program, that was just like a huge win for me,” Reece said. “Just knowing that I’m able to further my education is really exciting. It has been my biggest academic accomplishment.”
An MBA will allow Reece to learn more about the management side of business, learning how to run a business and various business processes. She believes it is prestigious and that it will be great to have the letters after her name. One of her goals in working toward her MBA is to make her stand out more while applying jobs.
“Ultimately, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. Being in the MBA program right now is helping me figure that out, but I’m planning on getting my masters in finance as well. I’m looking more at corporate finance right now,” Reece said. “Since corporate finance is broad, I’ll have to narrow that down. Luckily my degree and everything is very broad, so I have a lot of options which is nice.”
So far this season, Reece has 42 kills in 23 sets to go along with six assisted blocks and 45 points.
“My goals this season are just to make sure that our team plays to our highest potential. We’ve always had a lot of talent on our team, but I think this year we really have the ability to get and run with it,” Reece said. “We’ve started out really strong, so I just hope that, as a team, we can stay focused throughout the entire season and win the games that we absolutely should and win the games that we might not be expected to win.
"Obviously we want to win the SEC and ultimately go to the NCAA Tournament, so that’s definitely the big goal.”
Being a part of the Auburn Family has been one of the most unique parts to her experience as a student-athlete at Auburn University. The unconditional support the Auburn Family has given Reece has allowed her to push herself to be the best that she can be, she said.
“I think that Auburn, in general, whether you’re a student-athlete or not, is just a really special place to be,” Reece said. “Being a student here has helped shape who I am as a person and who I will be for the rest of my life.”
Amongst being on the SEC Academic Honor Roll every year since being at Auburn, graduating in three years and her new journey in the MBA program, Reece has also found a love for giving back to the Auburn Family and community. She was nominated and named a part of the 2016 SEC Community Service Team.
“I was in the student-athlete advisory committee as the publicity coordinator, so I got a lot of our community service ideas from that,” Reece said. “I was my team’s specific community service coordinator. I would take a lot of those ideas, take them back to the team, and encourage everyone to participate in them. Last year was one of our best years, community service wise, we really got out into the community and I was really proud of everyone for doing that.”
Reece also worked with The Big Event at Auburn which ended up being one of her favorite memories with community service. She did not just work within athletics, but with the whole campus. She participated in it all three years, and with her group she helped elderly people around their homes.
“For the past three years that I’ve done it, my group and I break off and go to elderly people’s homes. We do landscaping, painting, anything around the house that they can’t do themselves,” Reece said. “It’s a lot of fun though because my team will get together, it’s just so much fun. The Big Event has to be my favorite memory with community service since being here at Auburn.”
Volleyball has helped define Reece in many different aspects of her life. It has formed her into who she is as a person. She has developed numerous skills from the sport not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Volleyball has allowed her to take criticism well, be coachable on and off the court, become better at managing her time, but ultimately build her character.
“I’m going to miss everything about playing volleyball. I’m not going to know what to do with myself,” Reece said. “Especially this year, our team has great chemistry. We’re all getting along so well, and we’re really loving each other on and off the court. It’s definitely a family environment, and I think I’ll miss that the most.”
Similar to not being able to imagine where she would be in the future as a senior when she was a freshman, it is hard to imagine where she will see herself in ten years. What she values the most though, is where she is sure she will be.
“I know I’ll be married and happy. I’m in the business world, so my goal is to be a successful business person ten years from now,” Reece said. “I know I’ll be striving to truly make a difference with my passion for business. I’ll be happy to have my own family and just being successful and content.”