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The Champion Within: USF's Darcy and Haley Carroll

Aug. 27, 2008

When most siblings go off to college, it is normal to want to get as far away as possible from one another, but that isn't the case for the Carroll sisters of the University of San Francisco, as younger sister Haley decided to follow in her sister Darcy's footsteps to play volleyball for the Dons. With the season opening this weekend, we sat down with the two of them to find out a little bit more about their experiences playing together at USF. Darcy is one of the senior leaders on the team this year, while Haley is the WCC's reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

What is the best and worst thing about playing with your sister?
(DC) "The best thing is having a permanent family member andsupport system with you there at all times. The worst thing would be watching her do punishment. I get nervous when I'm watching her do it."

(HC) "For me, the best thing about playing with Darcy is that she knows the type of person that I am and can always push me. I mean your teammates know you, but your sister knows your limits and can keep you in check. The worst thing is the fact that she does know me so well, so I couldn't get away with things that I normally could get away with. She's kind of like my second mom making sure I'm getting things done and turning in my homework."

What are some of the things you have done over the summer to prepare for this season?
(HC) "Our coaches give us a pretty extensive workout to follow including weights and conditioning. We do that together as a team every summer. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we go to the gym to do our weights and Tuesdays and Thursdays we do our conditioning on the track."

(DC) "We also did a lot of camps. We did a couple of camps in our hometown in Morgan Hill that we ran with people who live around us at our high school. Then we did three camps up here at USF, where we stayed overnights."

What are some of your personal/team goals for the season?
(HC) "The team goal is to win our conference. That's what we are striving for this year and to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Personally, I would like to be able to help my teammates in the sense that I can get more digs or become a better serve receiver."

(DC) "Personally for me, I've been injured a lot since I was a freshman, so I would like to make a bigger impact especially being a senior and to just stay healthy."

What are your plans athletically or career wise after graduating?
(DC) "I don't know if I will be playing after school or anything like that, but I'm a marketing major, so I'm hoping in the spring time when I have some free time to get an internship so I can graduate with some experience. Sports marketing would be ideal for me, so that I can stay in the industry."

Are there any newcomers you are looking forward to working with?
(HC) "I think all of our returners are stepping up in ways that they never have before, so that has been amazing for us. We are looking forward to working with all the incoming girls who are all great athletes. They may not be the biggest and strongest, but they are so competitive and bring that push that our team uses at practice."
(DC) "We have a strong senior class this year too. There are five of us, so we are ready to come in and work hard to accomplish all of our goals."

What is the best thing about your game?
(HC) "I would have to say my best skill is motivation. I help motivate my teammates and I talk a lot on the court. A lot more than other people would. I think I motivate the girls to always keep pushing and to play their toughest even when they are tired or have a big block in front of them they are trying to get through."
(DC) "Yeah, she (Haley) has a lot of energy on the court. She is kind of like our cheerleader when she is out there. She gets everyone on the same page and pumped up ready to play. For me, I think I'm more of a quiet leader and doer, but I feel my best asset is that I can see the court and see what is going on and analyze different situations."

What is the thing you feel needs work in your game?
(HC) "I don't think I'm a very technically sound player. I kind of do things free for all and go with the flow, which isn't always a bad thing, but technically I would like to a little more sound and being more set in my position instead of roaming around."
(DC) "I think for both of us, we are striving for consistency and perfection. Obviously no one can get to absolute perfection, but we always think that we can do better in everything that we do."

What is your favorite away arena to play at?
(HC) "We both liked the University of Arizona. We played there during our first pre-season tournament a couple of years ago. I loved the gym. It didn't feel like there was a lot of court room, but the stands just kept going back and back. I loved the feel of it."

If you didn't play volleyball, is there another sport you could see yourself playing?
(DC) "I played tennis when I was younger, so I think that would be a pretty fun sport to play. I always watch it, so I think it's pretty cool."
(HC) "I think I would want to dance."

What is the reason you chose to play at USF?
(DC) "When I came to visit the campus, I felt really comfortable with the players and coaches, but I also got a chance to look at what the school could offer me in terms of my major and what I wanted to do. I just felt that everything kind of fit with what I wanted to do."
(HC) "I actually wasn't even looking at USF until Darcy convinced me that I had to meet the girls and I said OK. Once I went I knew right away that I loved it. The girls were amazing and I liked the campus. I also like fog, so I don't mind being in the city. Where we come from in Gilroy we lived on a lot of land with our grandparents and weren't really used to the city life, so I thought it would be a nice change. Location was definitely a key."

What is a favorite subject of yours that wasn't in your major?
(DC) "I've always liked all of my math classes. I feel like a nerd saying that, but I've always loved math and I'm pretty good at it."
(HC) "I'm a communications major, so I like any public speaking course. Outside of my major, I would have to say a computing robots course, where we got to build little robots, which I thought was neat. I never thought I would build anything in my life. It was actually part of a math requirement, and since I don't like math, I decided to take it. We got to work on the computer and learn Java script which was cool."

Any secret talents or things people don't know about you?
(HC) "I'm a pretty good interpretive dancer."
(DC) "I actually sleep walk a lot, outside or to the laundry room in the dorms."

Any funny childhood memories you would like to share?
(HC) "When we first started playing volleyball, we played for a club team called City Beach the first 10 years. When we went to tryout, they made us wear nametags with our positions and we just looked at each other and asked what positions we were. We had no idea, and Darcy said she saw a girl write setter on her tag, so we both put setter on our nametags."
(DC) "It was also very expensive for our parents, but we loved it so much. When we came home, we heard them talking about it in our living room about how they were going to afford five thousand dollars for us to play. So we both grabbed our penny jars with all of the change that we had. Then we went out there and told them we were going to help them to pay because we loved it so much and they knew right there that this is what we wanted to do."