Written by Crystal Turner, Staff Writer, The Capital Times
As a sports enthusiast, I am particularly excited to unveil this column which will be an athletic highlight in each issue of The Capital Times throughout this year. "Hear me roar" will profile a specific student athlete who has recently excelled within a sport during the current publishing period.
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a talented young lady from Penn State Harrisburg's women's volleyball team. Freshman Melissa Ganz is the first athlete selected to be profiled in the column's debut.
Melissa came to PSH this year all the way from Weston Cypress Bay, South Florida. She is currently pursuing a major in Criminology and hopes to complete the Penn State 2+2 plan before graduating. When I asked Melissa what brought her to Penn State all the way from the South Florida she explained that this has been her "dream school" and is also where her dad, aunt, and cousin went to college. "It's a family legacy," she added.
Melissa currently lives on campus, which is convenient as her commitment to volleyball and academics keeps her very busy. Off the court she enjoys hanging out with her friends as well. When I asked her what some of her strengths are, she said that she is very dedicated, good at defense, and has the ability to make anything fun. I have to mention that I was impressed by her zest for life. She just had such a positive vibe which made her conversation easy and personable too.
One of the topics we discussed during our interview this afternoon was teamwork. I asked Melissa to evaluate the term and how it's important in volleyball. In response she quoted "teamwork: makes the dream work." Having never heard this before, I thought it was a clever, ethical, yet analogy.
Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh, and Dwayne Wade are three athletes who have been an inspiration in Melissa's life. Since she is a big Miami Heat fan, Dwayne Wade is at the top of her list. In addition to being a fan, she added "it's the way he plays and he's a good person." She even has a tattoo that was inspired by a Dwayne Wade quotation. You could say he has passion for the game of basketball, the way she has a passion for volleyball.
Her love for the game began in middle school when she first attended tryouts with her best friend. The women's volleyball team has had only a couple matches so far. They took place during Gettysburg College's Battlefield Classic. In her position as a libero on defense, Melissa was a proven asset to her team as she led with nine digs against Adrian College on day two of the Classic. As a team they are very strong defensively, but would like to improve on serve receive in order to prepare for their upcoming games where they will strive to improve their record with some more wins.