October 3, 2008

Versatile Setter Plays Key Role in Red’s Offensive Scheme

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Currently listed at 5-11 on her official Cornell Athletics website profile, it’s safe to say senior Hilary Holland is pretty tall — its no surprise that since middle school coaches have been fighitng to score the redhead.
“[Holland] is the epitome of what Cornell volleyball is all about,” said head coach Deitre Collins-Parker. “She’s deserves all the success she’s going to get.”
Holland has started periodically for the Red since her sophomore season, when the team won the Ivy League title for the second year in a row. Last year Holland doubled her production from the previous season. But Holland hasn’t been the sole setter until this year, sharing the starting position last year with Amy Gordon, ’07.
Collins-Parker said she has always been impressed with Holland’s patience, and her willingness to wait for her opportunity to shine.
Despite her domination now, Holland came to the sport comparatively late, in sixth grade. The Stockton, Calif., native played soccer since she was barely out of diapers, but gradually started to transition to volleyball and basketball. “I liked basketball,” Holland said. “I liked the physical aspect of it. I just liked volleyball more, I enjoyed it more.”
Holland felt right at home and quickly settled into her familiar position, which she started consistently playing her junior year in high school.
“[As the setter] you kind of set up your teammates to score,” Holland said. “It’s all about giving your teammates the best opportunity. It’s about helping the team and not being so individualistic.”
Being constantly in the middle of the action isn’t bad, either.
A left-handed hitter, Holland said, “sometimes it’s an advantage.” Blockers have to line up differently against her on the fly, and her serve even throws off her teammates sometimes in practice.
Lefty or not, Holland has her sights set on a successful season, her last on the Hill. She already has two Ivy title rings at home, and she wouldn’t be too upset if a third somehow came into her possession.