VOLLEYBALL

Danielle Selkridge Adapts to Life as Superstar Volleyball Player

Senior middle hitter Danielle Selkridge was encouraged at a young age to play volleyball. “I started playing at age 12. My mom got me into volleyball as way to get me out of the house. “

Selkridge played at Antilles High School in the British Virgin Islands. She quickly realized that she had the potential to play at the collegiate level. “When I was 17, I realized I could play at the next level.”
Choosing UT was easy for Selkridge.  “I liked the fact that it was a small school. When I came on my visit to UT the girls who showed me around had great personalities and that made me really want to come here.”

In three seasons with the Spartans, Selkridge has appeared in 102 matches making 70 starts and 802 kills. She was named to the SSC all-freshman team as a freshman, the first-team all-SSC as a sophomore and the first-team all SSC as a junior.

She was voted Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year and was the national leader in hitting percentage as junior.

She enjoyed playing basketball in high school, but her first passion has always been volleyball especially as a middle hitter. “Middle back is my favorite position. Primarily I’m a blocker, so I’m up by the net and with hitters on the other side I go to try to block the ball before it reaches our side. When I hit, that opens up offense for the outside because the players on the other side have to worry about me too.”

Her favorite memory at any level came in her sophomore year at UT. The Spartans made it to the national title match.

Selkridge had 59 kills in six NCAA tournament matches, including 13 in the national title match with Concordia (12/4). Selkridge says she enjoyed that season the best because of “how the team fought back during regionals.”

“In the 2010 regionals we were down so much and we fought back. Everyone thought we were going to lose and we made it to nationals. That will always be a great memory for me.”

The Spartans finished last season 33-2 and 15-1 in the SSC. They fell to Concordia in the NCAA semifinals. Selkridge likes the fact that head coach Chris Catanach expects so much from his team each season.

“I like that he [Catanach] expects the best out of us. He expects perfection. I like that he expects the highest level of play out of us.”

Selkridge believes this year’s team has just as much potential as the 2011 squad if not more. She leads the Spartans with 150 kills this season and is fourth in the nation in hitting percentage.  “The fact that we have so much potential this year, even though were on top at the moment really excites me. We really have a lot of potential this year with the new players added to the mix.”

The Spartans are lucky to have Selkridge’s talent and passion on and off court. Her favorite part of the game is “just being part of a team." "Even as a middle backer when I get to the middle and my teammate gets a kill I’m happy, that’s perfect for me.”

Selkridge said she would like to be remembered as “a great athlete, team player and a nice person overall." "Not just being good at volleyball, but being someone people didn’t mind talking to or being around.”

She has a bright future in the field of physical therapy ahead, but wants to stay a part of volleyball in the meantime. “I want to go to graduate school for physical therapy. At home I’ll continue playing on the US-VZ national team. My past coach has a volleyball academy that she is starting, so I’ll probably help her with that.”

Written by Jake Perper

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