« Volleyball 2011

Tanya Schmidt


Santa Clara

Middle Blocker


Schmidt’s overall GPA is 3.97. Proficient also in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, she is an English major with minors in Classics and Religious Studies. Her honors and awards include: University Honors Program; Phi Beta Kappa; Dean’s List 3 straight years; President of Phi Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society); Vice President of Santa Clara University Chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu (Honors Society of Jesuit schools); member of Eta Sigma Phi (National Classical Honors Society); and member of Theta Alpha Kappa (National Honors Society of Religious Studies and Theology). She is one of two English majors to receive the 2011-12 Canterbury Fellowship, a university-awarded grant to support research for a senior thesis project. A Doelger Scholar Grant Recipient, she is co-authoring a paper on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 with Santa Clara University Associate Professor Juan Velasco.


Schmidt was chosen unanimously by her teammates and coaches to be the 2011 Bronco Team Captain. She is looked to for leadership, unity, and positive reinforcement. In Fall 2010 she was presented with the “Bronco Award,” given by the coaches to the hardest working team player. In her past three collegiate seasons, teammates voted her “Most Improved” twice, in Fall 2008 and Fall 2010. Because of her character, she has been asked to represent the university on a number of occasions. In Spring 2010 she was the Santa Clara University female representative to the Path to Peace Foundation’s week-long annual conference co-sponsored by the United Nations and the Holy See. Only 50 college students were selected to attend the conference on Catholic Social Teaching titled “Freedom, Truth, and Charity: Promoting Human Development as a Vocation.” Schmidt had the opportunity to discuss global justice issues with sitting United Nations Ambassadors.

Bronco Head Coach Jon Wallace said of Tanya: “Tanya is committed to improvement and her drive to improve every day is contagious. She is very humble so her actions go a long way. Tanya is not happy with being the best in the gym, she wants to be the best that she can be and she puts no limits on her development. Tanya is always climbing the mountain, each set giving her a sense of accomplishment, but her head is always looking up to conquer the next challenge.”


Schmidt served as the university’s female representative on the West Coast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. As a primary liaison between student-athletes and conference administration, she advocated for student-athlete welfare, helped to organize a sportsmanship campaign to encourage ethical behavior at sporting events, and promoted Student-Athlete Advisory Committee community service initiatives such as the Zappos.com Shoe Drive. Schmidt served for two years on her university’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. With her volleyball team she has helped organize and has walked three straight years in Santa Clara’s Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer which has raised more than $60,000 the last three years. She participated on a service trip to New Orleans through Catholic Charities in Dec 2009. With the grant money from the Jean Donovan Fellowship, in Summer 2010 she taught English to elementary school children in Cusco, Peru, and volunteered free time at the Cusco Mother Teresa Home for the Dying and the Destitute. She participated in an immersion trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua through Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute in Summer 2011. In Nicaragua she participated in a day of service through ATRAVES, an international non-profit. Wanting also to volunteer closer to home, through the Santa Clara Community Action Program, Schmidt’s activities have included teaching English to a Spanish-speaking cafeteria worker on campus and distributing sandwiches to the homeless in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco on Friday afternoons. Schmidt has worked on campus as a Student Ambassador, Campus Ministry Intern, and Peer Tutor at the Writing Center.


Schmidt has been voted the 2011 team captain and is a four-year starter. Her team made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament during her career. This fall she was named to the 2011 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team. In Fall 2010, she was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team, West Coast Conference Fall All-Academic Team, and ESPN.com CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District Team. She is a three-time awardee on the WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Gold List. Teammates voted her “Most Reliable Offense Player” in Fall 2010. She was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team in Fall 2008. Her high school athletic honors include: 2007 Division 4 California State MVP, PrepVolleyball.com 2007 Academic All-American; PrepVolleyball.com 2007 All-American; 2007-8 Harker Scholar-Athlete of the Year; 2007-08 Harker Athlete of the Year; named a Top 50 Junior Recruit in the nation.