The UConn women’s volleyball team is adding to their squad and it’s not exactly who you’d expect.
She may be less than five feet tall, but the impact she’s having on the entire team is immeasurable.
It’s official, after signing on the dotted line, 11-year-old Elsa Nocton is the newest member of the UConn women’s volleyball team.
“This has been something I’ve been waiting for, for a very long time,” said Nocton.
Well worth the wait, Nocton now has her own jersey, her own locker, and a whole lot of new teammates.
“She fit in perfectly right from the beginning. We were cracking jokes, she was smiling and dancing and singing,” said Ally Barrett, UConn women’s volleyball player.
The team was paired up with Nocton through Team Impact, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams.
Nocton was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, a neurological disorder that leaves her in constant pain.
Her struggles are deeply humbling to these college athletes and their coach.
“You have taught us how to be committed, compassionate, feisty, tough and most importantly selfless,” said Elizabeth Kline.
“She’s a little undersized, but what she lacks in size she brings in energy, enthusiasm and big smiles,” said Kris Grunwald, head coach.
It’s clear their lives have changed because of this little girl from Storrs with a big heart.
Now an honorary Husky, she says she has the older sisters she’s always wanted.
“It’s really surreal and incredible and I love them all so much,” Nocton said.
As for what she wants to be when she grows up, Nocton says a nurse so she can help others.
The teams next game is Friday night at 7 p.m. against ECU and no doubt, Nocton will be there.