She was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the Week twice in September. Three times she has been named RMAC/Baden Player of the Week, and for the past three weeks has been awarded RMAC/Baden Setter of the Week honors. In four seasons as an Oredigger, she has accumulated a program record 2,912 assists. She is the lone senior member of the Lady Orediggers Volleyball team currently ranked 21st in the nation and her name is Amanda Massey.
Massey and the Orediggers are currently 17-8 overall and 11-5 in conference play. With two games remaining, they are tied for third in the RMAC East Division as they look to build on last season’s NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament appearance with a deep postseason run. And while the success has been a complete team effort, Massey has helped to lead and anchor this team during their surge. For her efforts and success throughout her career at Mines, Massey is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
[Oredigger] How did you start playing volleyball?
I started playing in the 7th grade at Sagewood Middle School [Parker, Colorado]. I tried out on a complete whim.
Do you have any childhood athletic heroes?
I never had any particular one like how most kids looked up to Michael Jordan, but my older brother always played sports and I wanted to match him.
What has it been like to be the lone senior leading the team this year?
At times its been surreal knowing that I’m the only senior, but the captains, Holly [Hutchison], Grace [Bol], and Jackie [Stabell], all have the maturity level of…senior[s] so they definitely help with the process.
What has it been like to see the incredible growth in the volleyball program throughout your career here?
It’s been pretty amazing. I remember my freshman year how one of our main goals was to make the RMAC tournament, and now I think our entire team holds the expectations that we’ll make it to the NCAA tournament. We don’t expect it to be guaranteed but we all know we have the talent and drive to make it.
What has been your favorite memory playing college volleyball?
There’s too many to count. Every day and every trip, so many funny things happen with the team that it’s hard to pinpoint one specific memory.
Why do you enjoy playing volleyball?
I love the pace of the game and the overall competitiveness
What makes this year’s team special?
We’ve had a lot smaller…team this year, so I think that makes everybody a little more tight-knit. Everyone plays a key role on the team whether they start or not.
What is the hardest/easiest part about being a student athlete at Mines?
Hardest, the time management can be tricky at points. When your coaches are expecting 100% out of you at the same time that all of your professors are, it can be a little overwhelming. Easiest, can’t think of anything.
If you could change one thing at Mines it would be…
The parking situation. If they continue to take away spots, build a parking garage or at least make up for those parking spots elsewhere!
As a senior, what advice would you give younger students/student athletes?
Just keep pushing through. There will definitely be times when you question whether this is the right place or whether you can handle sports and school. It
doesn’t necessarily get easier, but I’m definitely seeing the benefits of persevering right now.