WILLCOX — Dani Pando, a senior volleyball player at Willcox high school, recently took some time to answer Range News’ questions about her volleyball career and more.
Q: What made you want to play volleyball, and how long have you been playing?
A: I started participating in sports at the age of 5, so naturally I wanted to try something new and exciting in middle school. I started playing in sixth grade when it became available and instantly fell in love. This year marks my seventh season and five years of club in the offseason.
Q: What has volleyball taught you?
A: Volleyball has taught me that hard work beats talent. The amount of good work ethic I have gained throughout playing is immense.
This year, I was given the role of captain on the varsity volleyball team; and because the team is composed of mainly young freshman and sophomores, I have learned how to serve as a role model. I have learned how to deal with many different personalities and playing styles and how to bring them all together in order to do great things.
A great lesson was learning how to do more for the entire team, rather than one’s self. Essentially, being a part of a well-working team builds character, and the game has had a part in shaping me into who I am today.
Q: What is your best moment as a volleyball player and why?
A: Choosing only one moment is a tough decision. I would say all of the bus rides, pregames and team dinners are some of my best volleyball and high school memories.
Q: What is the hardest part about volleyball?
A: The hardest part of this game is learning to work as a unit. I have always been taught that a team is only as good as its weakest link, so everyone puts in the work to make the team better as a whole.
Q: What are you going to miss the most about high school volleyball?
A: I am going to miss that sisterly bond of a team. I have made some of my best friends from playing volleyball. I will miss the competitiveness of the game, the feeling of pride in yourself when you made that perfect pass, serve, set or hit. But I won’t miss the smell of kneepads, maybe.