When she started playing volleyball at the young age of 9, she didn’t realize she would look back on a career full of memories. Coming full-circle, Dani Carrozza is wrapping up her volleyball playing career at Cabrini, but isn’t giving up the sport completely.
When she was younger, Carrozza’s best friend had four older sisters who all played volleyball. She said, “We would all go to the games and fool around practicing.” Then the two decided to join a league when they were 10 years old and from there it took off. Club volleyball was followed by high school, which then led to college. Carrozza, a senior marketing major, hopes to get a job after graduation that is sports-related, but without a doubt had a hard time picking her favorite memory.
After thinking a bit, she decided. In her junior year at Merion Mercy Academy, her team won the state championship. Carrozza said, “That’s a crazy feeling. I never knew what it would feel like.” Then the Academy won again in her final year of high school. She added, “Senior year we came back and did it again and being back-to-back state champions was sort of an unreal feeling that most high school teams don’t know.”
Currently working at Eagle One Credit Union, finishing her senior year and also her volleyball career, Carrozza has no regrets. Although she says she is frequent worrier, she has recorded a whopping 831 digs during her career and also earned the major accomplishment of 1,000 kills during Saturday’s tri-match against Rutgers-Camden.
Carrozza lives in Glenolden with her mother and two older sisters. She’s the only athlete in the family, but they still are very close-knit. Reflecting on her career, Carrozza said, “I’m considered really short for my position.” Standing at 5-8 as an outside hitter, people tried to convince her she wouldn’t get recruited. “Although I faced a lot of adversity, proving them wrong each day has been a great life lesson,” she added.
“Dani is an incredible and smart volleyball player, but an even better person off the court,” said fellow volleyball teammate, Kelly Guarino. “She’s a huge part of our team and brings character to it with her humor.” Guarino concluded by saying, “Dani always has me laughing at practices and games and I wish I got the chance to play with her for more than one season.”
Volleyball head coach Eric Schaefer had nothing but good things to say about Carrozza in an email. “Dani transfered into Cabrini 3 years ago from Temple and trusted me as a coach from day one.” He added, “She is an extremely hard worker who pushes herself to be the best. I am not sure where we would be as a team without her and I am sure glad that I didn’t have to find out!”
In the future, Carrozza will continue her career coaching volleyball. “I started coaching last year for the club I played for so I’m continuing with that, seeing where that takes me.” Coaching 14 year olds, Carrozza has one message for them. She said, “I never want them to play timid.” She added, “If it’s 24-24 don’t back away from the ball, just hit the ball and go for the kill.”
The conclusion of volleyball season is quickly approaching, but Carrozza has a lot to be proud of and can certainly look back with a smile.