Carla Pons Sales: A long way from home

Carla Pons Sales, sophomore biology student, has found a second home at Park University.

Pon Sales came to Park all the way from Barcelona, Spain to play volleyball. She plays both indoor and beach seasons.

She said that she is glad for the culture of the students at Park. She said that at the beginning of her freshman year she went to a friend’s house to meet new people, and “everybody was so nice. I was shocked, and it just made me so happy.”

These people also helped to make up one of her favorite volleyball memories which was when she was on the junior varsity team for indoor volleyball, and the team made it to the finals. “It was at home, so a lot of people came and cheered for us,” she said.

Her advice to incoming student athletes is to be resilient. “Don’t be too hard on yourself because of your sport. It can ruin your day just because you had a bad practice, but just move on,” Pon Sales said.

She also encourages them to show the same kindness to others that she has seen. “Be nice to people because the people here are really nice. In general, they’re going to help you in everything so just be nice to them to so you can support each other.”

Pon Sales said another one of her favorite memories so far at Park was qualifying for the NAIA Women’s Beach Volleyball Invitational during her freshman year. “It was the first year ever at Park that the team went to Nationals, and it was in Florida.”

Carla Pon Sales and her partner Melissa Knaut will be playing at the 2023 NAIA Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament on April 20-22 in Panama City Beach, Fla. with the five other Park teams. Park will go into the tournament with a record of 16-1. This is the second consecutive year that the beach team has made it to the tournament.

In all, Pon Sales is grateful for her experience at Park so far. She said, “I’m just really glad I came here to the U.S., in general. I was scared because it’s a bug change, and of course I miss my family and friends. But you make new friends, new experiences.”