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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The best of both worlds

    Sophomore Danielle Holloway, sitting on the stairs of the Delta Gamma sorority house, manages to split her time between the UA volleyball team and Greek life.
    Sophomore Danielle Holloway, sitting on the stairs of the Delta Gamma sorority house, manages to split her time between the UA volleyball team and Greek life.

    While many Arizona students were at home relaxing and soaking up the summer’s final school-free rays, sophomore Danielle Holloway was busy juggling her time between Arizona athletics and Greek life – arguably the two biggest and time-consuming activities on campus.

    Holloway was already a member of the Delta Gamma sorority in the spring semester, when UA volleyball head coach David Rubio decided the team needed an addition due to several injured players.

    “”When (sophomore) Elise Hendrickson tore her ACL in April, we were trying to figure out if we should recruit a freshman,”” Rubio said. “”We found out that Danielle was on campus and she might have a desire to come out and play.

    “”We invited her to come out for the last two weeks of our spring season,”” he added. “”Originally, it was a try-out basis, but she proved to be a great person with high energy. I think she really has the potential to help us out in the future.””

    Since she first picked up a ball in the fourth grade, Holloway wanted to play college volleyball. When she came to Arizona, however, she thought that her days as an athlete were over.

    “”I remember my last club game, I was devastated because in my mind it was the last game I was ever going to play,”” Holloway said. “”But I came to college open-minded and knew I wanted to join a sorority. I knew I’d miss volleyball and having that kind of structure in my life.””

    Holloway spent part of her summer at home in Laguna Niguel, Calif., where she filled her spare time with summer school. When arriving back to Arizona in July, she realized that her busy summer had just begun.

    “”I came back for camps and helped coach them with the whole team, then I was back here early August to start double days,”” Holloway said.

    Double days – a time when the team practices twice a day – lasted approximately three weeks this year, a week longer than previous summers.

    “”It wasn’t too difficult because all I thought about was volleyball and I didn’t have anything else to worry about,”” she said. “”It was eat, sleep and play volleyball.””

    Within 24 hours of double days starting, Delta Gamma began its preparation for the tedious fall recruitment process, one of Greek life’s busiest time periods.

    Despite the overlapping schedules of her separate lives, Holloway continuously received support from both directions.

    “”When Danielle came to tell us she made the team, we were all very excited because we’ve never had an athlete in the house before,”” said Delta Gamma chapter president Coree Parra. “”We encourage people to be involved in a lot of different activities – we’re not going to hold her back from something she loves. If she has to miss chapter to go to practice that’s completely OK also.””

    Holloway’s sorority sisters have agreed that school and athletics take priority over the Greek aspect on the Arizona campus, but the respect is mutual. If anything, Holloway’s involvement in athletics and sorority has sparked the understanding and encouragement from one group to the other.

    “”We’ve had a few other players in the past who have been a part of the Greek system and it’s never been an issue in terms of the conflict they may have with volleyball,”” Rubio said. “”If you can fit it all in, I think it’s terrific. An aspect of college is experiencing as much as you can. So it’s great that she’s able to do both.””

    With the first week of school underway, Holloway can now be considered a Greek student-athlete. It’s a different experience for everyone, but she finds her teammates’ reactions the most amusing.

    “”We’ll always get into arguments and they’ll joke with me about one thing, but I turn around and do it right back to them,”” Holloway said. “”It’s really funny, I don’t mind it at all. I absolutely love those girls.””

    One example of the ongoing playful battle is when the players were getting their new gear for the season, and senior Brooke Buringrud asked if she could get a jersey in pink and blue for Holloway, which are her sorority’s colors.

    “”We give her a hard time, but it’s all in good fun,”” said senior Randy Goodenough. “”I have so much respect for her – she’s going to tackle two huge commitments on top of school. It’s going to be a lot, especially during the season because of our crazy schedule, but if she puts her mind to it, she’ll do just fine.””

    Holloway said she will try not to spread herself too thin because she wants to be able to be her best in every area possible, whether it be volleyball, school, staying involved in her house, or Greek life.

    “”I get to live with my best friends in DG and love the girls on the team. I’m close to each group of friends,”” Holloway said. “”And I love it because I’m a little bit of both. It’s like the best of both worlds.””

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