May 27, 2014
Alyssa Dunlap was a two-year captain on the women's lacrosse team. The Villanova, Pa., native started all 65 games of her career and ranked in the top 10 in program history in games played, ground balls and draw controls. She graduated in May with a degree in corporate leadership and plans to start a lacrosse club program. She enjoys deep-sea fishing and this summer will try to catch the big fish on a trip with her father, Bret, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Commodore Nation: How did you get into deep-sea fishing being from Pennsylvania?
Alyssa Dunlap: Growing up we used to visit my grandparents in North Carolina frequently. My grandfather would take me and my dad to a pond or lake and just throw in a line. That's kind of where it started. My dad, he and his brother, would go on fishing trips. That interest carried over. My dad did the same, took me on one trip and I had an absolute blast just being out in the ocean on the water.
CN: What do you enjoy the most about it?
Dunlap: I enjoy the surprise of it and not knowing exactly what you're going to catch, then also the thrill of being able to reel something in and having it be a challenge almost.
CN: Fishing can call for a lot of patience. Are you patient person?
Dunlap: It is funny. I would say in some aspects of life I might not be patient, but in the sport of fishing I am patient because I have no other option. You have to be patient. Once something hits, that is where it is really exciting because you have been waiting and waiting and finally you have something.
CN: What is the biggest fish you have caught?
Dunlap: My dad and I, when we went out to Cabo a couple years ago, we caught a marlin but we weren't able to bring it on the boat. We were able to see it, and then it popped off the line as soon as the fish got close to the boat. It kind of freaked out. The hope is when we go in August we will able to bring it on the boat and see it up close.
CN: After graduation, you want to start a club lacrosse team. Possibly in California?
Dunlap: California intrigues me. I have only been out there when we go to Stanford pretty much. Every time I'm out there I love the weather. I love being around the mountains. The terrain out there--it's green, it's mountainous. The weather is perfect. That is something I feel like I need to get out of my system. Being able to start a club program would be a great opportunity--kind of an excuse to move out there. But we'll see. I could be, who knows, somewhere else. It is exciting because I have the ability to do whatever I want when I graduate. Everything is at my fingertips. But it is daunting because there is so much out there I don't know exactly what direction I want to go in.
CN: Have you enjoyed the whole Vanderbilt experience?
Dunlap: It has been phenomenal. I've learned a lot, too--as an athlete, as a person, as a teammate, as a friend, in all aspects. It has been some good, some bad. But that's part of it. That is part of life. It has definitely prepared me for the real world.