August 20, 2007

For Gordon, Volleyball Runs in Her Veins

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Two-year senior volleyball captain Amy Gordon has truly lived and breathed volleyball her entire life. Her parents met while playing volleyball so she has been watching and hearing about volleyball long before she even started to play competitively.
“It’s kind of a cute story, but I was kind of brought into it so I grew up watching my mom and dad play in tournaments.” Gordon said.
Gordon, a Chicago-area native, started playing competitive volleyball for a club team in fifth grade. It wasn’t long before she was playing for her junior high and later her high school team while still playing for her club. She also played soccer, but juggling the time commitment to both sports became too distracting.
“Sophomore year of high school I had to choose one or the other because it was getting too cumbersome to do both,” Gordon said. “I was always better at volleyball and liked it more because I liked the team aspect more. I was just able to excel at volleyball more from that point out and really dedicate myself to playing in college.”
Since coming to Cornell, she has never regretted her decision to play the game her whole family loves. As captain last year, her best memory of playing volleyball for the Red was when the team won its third consecutive Ivy League title.
“We had been working for our one goal and you know it was for the first time in my three years of winning that we really controlled our own destiny,” Gordon said. “We had lost to them earlier in the season but we were so focused and so dedicated. It was my best friends and I on the court playing our hearts out and we absolutely dominated. And it was the most unbelievable feeling to know everything we worked for paid off.”
Now that Gordon is an experienced captain she feels even closer to all her teammates. While she holds the title of captain, all the upperclassmen share the leadership role on the team.
“I feel like I’m really close with everyone but I feel like we all respect each other,” Gordon said. “The only difference is that my teammates voted me into the position. I don’t do anything besides call the coin tosses in the beginning.”
While Gordon has enjoyed a lot of success at Cornell, she got off to a slightly rocky start. During preseason her freshman year, while unpacking groceries, she stood up too quickly and slammed her head into the freezer door handle. She hit the handle hard enough to sustain a concussion and was forced to sit out the first few matches of the season.
“Everyone made fun of me for it,” Gordon said. “It wasn’t funny at the time but looking back, it is pretty funny.”
Of course, anyone who follows the women’s volleyball team is wondering what Gordon gave up as her team sacrifice this year.
“I gave up chocolate which is a huge sacrifice for me because as anyone who knows me will tell you, I love chocolate,” Gordon said. “I’ve been craving it lately but the cravings are getting few and far between.”