The ‘middle’ is Middleborn

By Brittany Filippini |Staff Writer|

Samantha Middleborn, started her volleyball career late, but has blossomed into an outstanding player anyway.

Middleborn did not begin her volleyball career until her sophomore year in high school. Her parents never really pushed her to play sports but they were supportive when she decided to get involved with volleyball.

“I never played sports until high school and that was all on my own,” said Middleborn.

She immediately fell in love with the sport.

Even though her volleyball career did not start until she was in high school, she has made quite a name for herself.

Middleborn has made her presence known on the volleyball court. She was named Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 19-25. Middleborn also received this honor earlier this month for the week of Aug. 29- Sept. 4.

With as much success as Middleborn has had, including leading the 2010 team to a runner-up National Championship, it is easy to focus on volleyball primarily, but that is not the case with Middleborn.

Middleborn, a senior now, says her first goal is to graduate because, after all, that is why she came to CSUSB.  But she then hopes to continue her volleyball career and play professionally overseas in Europe after that.

An obstacle Middleborn has had to overcome when it comes to volleyball is her “impatience within herself.” Middleborn says she is very competitive and critiques herself harder than she should.

“I am my own worst enemy,” said Middleborn.

If she makes a mistake, no one is quicker to point it out than herself. Now that she is a senior, mistakes are becoming few and far between because of her hard work and dedication to the team, which has shown to be a huge asset.

“Volleyball comes first,” said Middleborn.

When it comes to a social event or gathering, if it conflicts with volleyball, volleyball will win the battle.

The fact that all the players on the team get along is one of the best things about being part of the volleyball team, according to Middleborn.

Something she has learned from her coach, Kim Cherniss, is to always have a positive attitude, which seems to be an influencing factor not only on Middleborn but the whole team.

“She never lets me be in a bad mood, no matter what,” said Middleborn of Cherniss.

“Our personal attitude, our team as a whole is resilient,” said Middleborn, which she believes separates them from their competitors.

With eight seniors making up a core part of the team, the drive for nationals is even stronger this year. Middleborn is the middle piece of that drive as she hopes to lead them to an avenging win in the National Championship game.

Volleyball is not only a significant part of Middleborn’s future career but has also played an important role within her. Volleyball has allowed Middleborn to find herself and learn a lot about who she really is as a person.

Through positive feedback and critique, Middleborn has learned to trust her teammates and others around her to be able to help her achieve her personal, professional and team goals.

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