September 4, 2007

Up Close & Personal with Dani Usedom

Banner Elk, NC--Our series of interviews continues with a strong leader of the Bobcat team, senior Dani Usedom, a native of Geneva, IL.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae?

I decided to come to LMC because of volleyball and the area. It's beautiful!

2. How long have you been playing volleyball?

This makes my 11th year.

3. What are your personal goals for this season?

My gaols are to make the 30 dig club, win conference, make at least Sweet 16 in Regionals, and be a good captain.

4. What's your favorite volleyball memory here at Lees-McRae so far?

As weird as it sounds, probably playing on my insanely messed up ankle last fall at CVACs and Regionals. It was a tough, but I really pushed through and did it! It's something I will never forget. The team, trainers, and my friends were all so supportive. It really meant a lot to me.

5. Who has been the most influential person on your athletic career?

Aside from my dad, who has always been there and believed in me, it would be Jackie Ohlinger, my 16's coach who pushed me hard and beyond my limit.

6. If you weren't playing volleyball, what other sport would you play?

I'd play rugby!

7. What is your major and what do you plan to do with your degree?

Sports Management: I'm not exactly sure yet, but I love event planning and am currently running the intramural program here at LMC. I also am interested in working with the Special Olympics!

8. If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go?

I think I'd travel to ancient Rome or to the 1950's, when everything seemed so simple.

9. What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

10. What is your favorite food?

Fettuccine Alfredo

11. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?

New Zealand, although the whole South Pacific would suffice!

12. What is one word that describes you and why?

Determined. I am very determined to do a lot of things and don't let things get in my way. I make things happen and work very hard to get there.


Dani's Story... I am from Geneva, IL, a western suburb of Chicago. I have always loved sports and decided to start playing club volleyball with Sports Performance Volleyball Club when I was 11 years old. This club taught me what it meant to really work hard and be committed to something. This is where I fell in love...with volleyball that is. I joined Club Fusion Volleyball my sophomore year in high school and began to start being recruited by schools, yet all I wanted was to come to NC to play some volleyball. As I battled through some pretty serious injuries over the next three years I was still able to keep up with the game as a captain of my club and high school team along with winning a National Championship and catching the eye of previous coach, Don Metil. Metil recruited me here to LMC, and this is where I have been digging balls ever since. I have one semester left to play my heart out and remember it and what it feels like to be part of a team like this, then real life starts.