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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball competition spwans friendship

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA victory over Oregon State volleyball at McKale Center Sat, Nov 6.

On the surface, Candace Nicholson and Danielle Holloway don’t appear to have a lot in common other than both playing libero on the Arizona volleyball team. Nicholson is a freshman, Holloway a senior.

Nicholson is a brunette, while Holloway sports blonde locks. But that’s where the differences end.

“”We’re really alike, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason we get along so well,”” Nicholson said. “”We’re really good friends off the court.””

The friendship started to evolve when Holloway took Nicholson under her wing after the freshman arrived on campus earlier this year.

“”I see her as kind of a little sister, I’ve wanted to show her the ropes and make sure she gets the work done and knows what it’s all about, because she has the potential to be so good.”” Holloway said. “”It’s kind of weird to look up to a freshman, but we have a unique relationship. We really understand each other and what we’re going through.””

Nicholson couldn’t be happier to have someone like Holloway help her get to know her way around Division-I volleyball.

“”Words can’t really explain how helpful (Holloway) has been, I really look up to her as a person,”” Nicholson said. “”She’s always willing to help me out with any questions I have. Me and Danielle get each other through a lot.””

What might be the strangest part of Nicholson and Holloway’s friendship is the intense competition they have been involved in throughout most of the season.

For about the first half of the year, stats were kept every day in practice, which were then used to decide who was starting the games that weekend.

“”It was definitely a lot more stressful when I knew that stats were counting every day, and that put a lot more pressure on me,”” Holloway said. “”Now I have the freedom to just want to get better and work hard for the team as a whole.””

Holloway’s emergence as the ultimate team player is something that makes Arizona’s head coach Dave Rubio one of the proudest coaches in America.

“”I’m sure Danielle, if you asked her, would say that she’s disappointed that she isn’t the libero,”” Rubio said. “”But what she’s done is that she hasn’t let that disappointment affect who she is and how she is with Candace (Nicholson). She’s really helped Candace with the transition and maybe the day-to-day things and has just really supported her. Because of that, she’s really made a big difference for Candace.””

Holloway’s transition from starter to role player wasn’t easy, but she still looks forward to competing on the practice court every day.

“”I think both of us really drive each other to be better – I make her better and she makes me better,”” Holloway said. “”We just have such a special bond, and that’s really hard to find, especially when two people are competing for a spot. I think if anything, (the competition) has helped our relationship.””

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