Volleyball Columns

Laurie Bollig

Patience pays off for volleyball star Mancuso

by Laurie Bollig January 22, 2013 in Volleyball

As her sister Dani was busy helping Nebraska win the 2006 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, Gina Mancuso was tearing it up on the court as a sophomore at nearby Papillion-LaVista High School. Two years later, Gina was named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year – the first high school athlete from the state to win the honor. So, taking up where Dani left off and making an immediate impact on the Husker volleyball team – no problem, right? Wrong. The most… Continue Reading

Aubrey Everett

Alaina Bergsma relishes roles as volleyball player and pageant queen

by Aubrey Everett November 04, 2012 in Volleyball

The University of Oregon women’s volleyball team is in the middle of a season-long hot streak and driving the bus is senior Alaina Bergsma. The 6’3” outside hitter is leading her squad to one of its most successful seasons in recent years, and still finding time to be productive and charitable off the court. Bergsma has been nominated as one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The honor recognizes Division I women’s volleyball athletes who not only put up big numbers at the… Continue Reading

Laurie Bollig

Fall season kicks off with stellar list of candidates

by Laurie Bollig October 02, 2012 in Volleyball

We’ve barely had time to catch our collective breaths after a great season of Senior CLASS Award winners in 2011-12. We met the likes of Kirk Cousins - a terrific quarterback from Michigan State who wowed us all with his speech about the privilege and responsibility of being a student-athlete. We learned how important family and her home state of Hawaii are to Kanani Danielson when she joined us at the Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. We saw perseverance personified when Robbie… Continue Reading

Aubrey Everett

Hawai’i's Kanani Danielson Has it All

by Aubrey Everett December 26, 2011 in Volleyball

With roots winding far back into Hawaiian culture, the traditional name Kanani means “the beautiful one.” University of Hawaii senior and 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner for volleyball Kanani Danielson has her own roots dug deeply into the chain of islands, and has worked hard to make both the volleyball world, and her local community, proud. Living up to her moniker, Danielson has not only worked hard and given an immense amount of physical and mental strength on the court and in… Continue Reading

The Left Coast’s top players - Danielson and Hill completing well rounded college experience

by Cindy Luis October 31, 2011 in Volleyball

Great players. Even better people. Hawaii’s Kanani Danielson and Pepperdine’s Kim Hill have much in common beyond success on the volleyball court. The two senior All-Americans bring new meaning to the term “time management” when managing to devote quality time in the community and in the classroom. And it’s all done with a humility that is as rare as they are. “She wears it well,” Pepperdine coach Nina Matthies said of Hill. “If you didn’t look at the stats, you’d never know she was a great… Continue Reading

Taylor T. Bern

Mission trips open the eyes of Senior CLASS Award candidates

by Taylor T. Bern September 26, 2011 in Volleyball

When Sarah Havel first traveled to Honduras in 2010, she had a simple goal. “I went in expecting to bring a smile to people’s faces,” said Havel, a senior middle blocker at College of Charleston. What she didn’t expect was for the experience to change the way she approached life as a student-athlete. Havel is one of many candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award who have contributed to communities across the globe and taken the lessons back to their campus and their teammates.… Continue Reading

Clare Lochary

Blankenship fits the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award mold to a T

by Clare Lochary December 27, 2010 in Volleyball

There aren’t many Ellie Blankenships in the world. More’s the pity. Blankenship, a senior libero from the University of Northern Iowa, is the inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS award winner for volleyball. Her performance on the court, in the classroom and in the community has made her a figure of respect in volleyball-crazy Cedar Falls, where the Panthers attract an average of more than 2,000 fans per game. “Volleyball’s very popular in Iowa. We have so much respect for volleyball in… Continue Reading

For volleyball setters, striking a balance on and off the court is important

by Cindy Luis November 01, 2010 in Volleyball

It takes a different mentality to be a setter, particularly a successful one at a high-profile collegiate program. It requires the right combination of intelligence and instinct, of passion and persistence, and all done with the unselfishness that goes beyond that assist total that shows up in the boxscore. Setters are used to giving. But for Nebraska’s Sydney Anderson, Washington’s Jenna Hagglund and California’s Carli Lloyd, the giving is not just limited to the court. While the three… Continue Reading

Todd Henrichs

Feisty setters function as the engine that makes a volleyball team go

by Todd Henrichs October 04, 2010 in Volleyball

As a setter, Lexi Zimmerman watches counterparts at her position with a critical eye. Many times, what Zimmerman sees looks very familiar. Even in warm-ups. “In something as silly as pepper, you can see that setters are usually the ones on their team who are super feisty and super aggressive. They do everything to not let a ball hit the court,” Zimmerman said. “It’s kind of weird or odd, but I see that all the time.” That competitiveness doesn’t just manifest itself on the… Continue Reading

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