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Summer Session: Caitlin Callaghan



CHICAGO - While DePaul's student-athletes are in the midst of enjoying the summer and preparing for the upcoming year, Caitlin Callaghan took a few minutes to answer some questions and give the readers an inside look at the DePaul volleyball program. The Blue Demons begin their 2008 season at the Chicagoland Classic hosted by Loyola-Chicago Aug. 29-30.  DePaul and the Ramblers square off on Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

Q: What is DePaul Volleyball?
A: DePaul Volleyball is definitely a tight knit family.  Our team chemistry and closeness has developed greatly since I have been a freshman. Every player is a part of our family.  Each player needs every other person on the team in a different way, whether it is for support on the court, support off the court, or because of the little thing that each person does to help each player get out of a funk.  Our team philosophy is one in which we do everything we can for each other and the team.  That means leaving everything on the court, holding each other accountable, and knowing that we will still be good teammates off the court.  Doing everything for the good of the team and our success.  

Q: As the only senior on the 2008 roster, what is the most important thing you teach the younger players? 
A: There are times when there is a rough patch in the road and there are times when you think things can’t get any better.  Know that playing a collegiate sport is more than a full time job, it gets very emotional on both ends, but also know that when you see the end of the tunnel you really cannot believe how fast it goes.  So, leave nothing behind, and know that one day it will end and remember that everyday.  This will help you give that extra push on days where there is a rough patch. 

Q: How do you want to be remembered?
A: I want to be remembered as a leader whom each individual on the team could trust to do the right thing, know how to treat each individual with respect including the coaching staff, set a good example on and off the court, and find the good in all situations. 

Q: How will the 2008 team be different front the 2007 squad?
A: This season I am the oldest on the team by over a year and half, however there is lots of young, but great talent!  The new freshman will be a huge addition to our 2007 team.  They will bring height, more options to the offense, and enthusiasm. The nine returnees have made huge strides in the off season.  Seeing all the girls improve has been so fun!  In the spring, we would see something click and everyone would know it, it was such a good feeling to see the change as each practice passed by. 

Q: Most memorable win?
A: For sure our win at Northern Illinois last season.  It was our first win of the season and we were itching for a victory.  Everyone played on top of their game.  We won in five games, which are always intense.  They had a lot of fans, we had a lot of fans, and the gym was packed.  We love playing in front of a big crowd!  Some of us knew and had played against some of NIU’s players, so it’s always good to beat people you know.  Our win against Northern was the beginning of a streak of wins for us.  The next weekend we won our home tournament. 

Although this was not a win, my favorite “game” was against Louisville in 2007.  We stayed neck and neck with the nationally ranked Cardinals and were winning the majority of one of the games.  It was so excited and gave us the greatest feeling to compete so greatly with such a challenging team! 

Q: How was your spring season and how did it help prepare the team for the Fall?
A: Spring flew by, in a great way.  The atmosphere in the gym was filled with high energy, competitive, and it was fun.  We saw a lot of things click, and many times left us feeling very excited for fall season.  We played in several tournaments which were each challenging.  However, it was good to get back in the groove of playing other people besides ourselves.  We were very lucky to play against some great competition, and grab a few wins.  We tried new things.  We laughed and had fun with it all.  That is what spring is about. 

Q: What is your favorite road trip and why? 
A: My favorite road trip was in 2007 when we spent a weekend on the east coast.  We played at St. John’s (Queens, N.Y.) on Friday night and Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.) on Sunday afternoon.  When we got to New York on Thursday night, we took the bus straight to Times Square in Manhattan.  It has kind of been one of my goals to make it to Manhattan for vacation and see everything so I was very excited.  We walked around Times Square and the surrounding area, and had dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant. 

The next night was St. John’s.  They were the toughest team in our conference at the time and ranked 17th in the country.  Playing against a team like this is challenging but always fun to try and upset them.  They were a phenomenal team, and it felt good to play a team at such a high level.  My family made the trek to New York and it meant a lot to me for all of them to come.  This is another reason why it was so memorable. 

Our bus trip that night to Storrs was one of the best.  Bus trips with the girls are always fun, lots of bonding, with a lot of singing and laughing! 

Saturday, we had the day off relaxing and went to a team movie, SAW IV...always fun to see a scary movie with a bunch of girls. There was lots of screaming!

Sunday was UConn.  I always love playing in this gym because of all the history with their athletics.  Connecticut is a beautiful state.  Although we did not grab any wins that weekend, it was a good weekend for team bonding, and filled with many memories for me.

Q: What do you have going this summer? Taking classes, playing volleyball anywhere or taking a break to gear up for 2008?
A: This summer has been fantastic so far!  I am living in Centennial with Kate Letcher.  I love living in Chicago in the summer.  I always say that Chicago in the summer makes up for every cold day in the winter!  I am taking one elective class to keep me busy on the days I do not work with my Dad downtown at the Board of Trade.  I have been working out during open gyms and have spent sometime in the weight room with our new strength coach.

Q: What are your favorite Chicago activities?
A: Well, my coach would not be happy with this answer seeing she is a Sox fan, however, I am a Cubs fan and I absolutely love the Chicago Cubs.  I go to a game whenever possible and the atmosphere of Wrigleyville is awesome.  I am six for six on going to Cubs games with a win this summer!  Hearing “Go Cubs Go” after a win still gives me goosebumps.  Gotta love a live sporting event, nothing beats it.   Besides that, I have a family party almost every week.  This is a good thing.  I love my family and getting together with them as much as possible. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Although the light is at the end of the tunnel, I really am not positive on where I will be after graduation.  Right now, I will probably be looking for a Physical Education position.  This is what I will be getting my degree in.  However, I definitely want to keep my options open.   I will always be involved with sports and staying active. Volleyball will always be in my life.