A Valuable Teammate
By Jim Wrobel
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Senior volleyball player Callie Black, who just recently won the program's Most Valuable Teammate Award, demonstrated over the past four years why she deserved this honor. She was outstanding on the court as she finished her Crusader career ranked fifth all-time at the school with 212 career blocks and also tallied 363 career kills. She was a strong leader as demonstrated by being a two-year member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy. Black also showed her willingness to work hard off the court as she won the 2011 and 2012 Iron Crusader Award which is given to the player that has excelled in the weight room and shows the best overall performance. Black was also a member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. "Callie's work ethic in the classroom, weight room and court was admired by all her teammates and coaches," said head coach Erin Cady.
A native of Fallon, Nev., Black started playing volleyball in sixth grade, but did not start playing competitively until her freshman year at Churchill County High School. She had an outstanding high school career as she posted 497 career blocks and 340 career kills, while she was a member of the 2008 All-Sierra Nevada team.
Black talked to GoHolyCross.com about her four years as a student-athlete.
GoHolyCross.com: Did you always want to play college volleyball even as a kid and if so why?
Black: I did dream of playing volleyball in college as a kid. A girl from my hometown had gone on to play volleyball for Stanford and won two national championships. I kept every newspaper clipping about college volleyball and when I was 11 years old, I wrote in my journal that one of my goals was to play volleyball in college.
GoHolyCross.com: Why did you choose Holy Cross?
Black: Holy Cross has established a reputation as an academically rigorous school. I wanted an academically strong school where I could also play volleyball competitively. Holy Cross seemed like a perfect fit. And after coming on my official visit, between talking to the girls on the team and touring the beautiful campus, I knew that I had found a home away from home.
GoHolyCross.com: What are some of your favorite things about being on the Holy Cross volleyball team?
Black: I love that fact that I can call my teammates my friends. And who doesn't love wearing the color purple?
GoHolyCross.com: What is your favorite thing about living in New England during the school year?
Black: I will miss living in New England in the fall. There's nothing else like it in the world.
GoHolyCross.com: What will you miss about Holy Cross?
Black: I will miss my teammates, first and foremost. We pride ourselves on being a family and it's going to be strange not seeing them every day. I will miss all of the people I have met along my journey here at Holy Cross, especially the professors, who have challenged me to expand my way of thinking.
GoHolyCross.com: What will you take away from your experience at Holy Cross as a student-athlete?
Black: After four years of being a student-athlete at Holy Cross, juggling classes and studying with practice and matches, I feel like I am prepared for whatever life throws at me for the rest of my life.
GoHolyCross.com: Who have been some positive influences in your life on and off the court? Why have they been a positive influence?
Black: My family has been the most positive influence in my life. They encouraged me to come out to the East Coast and supported me along the way, and I would not be the person that I am without them.
GoHolyCross.com: Have you had a specific favorite volleyball road trip? And why was it your favorite?
Black: My favorite volleyball trip was the trip to Navy my freshman year. It was our last away match of the year and we beat Navy in three sets! Then we had several hours to walk around the beautiful town of Annapolis and we even got ice cream as a reward for our win!
GoHolyCross.com: What is your most memorable volleyball moment playing here?
Black: My most memorable moment playing here on the sport court was last year when we beat Providence early in the season. For the previous two years, Providence had beaten us in match-ups. It was a hard fought match and we ended up winning in five sets.
GoHolyCross.com: What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Black: Upon graduation, I want to return to my home state of Nevada and pursue a career in physical therapy.