By Ashika Raval – Staff Writer
Anna Moore, middle blocker for UNC Asheville volleyball team, led the team to several victories throughout her three years at UNCA.
Moore, a Raleigh native, transferred into UNC Asheville her sophomore year after playing for the N.C. State volleyball team.
“My freshman year I played at state, and after that first year I realized that it wasn’t for me. The coach and I both saw that the atmosphere, the team and everything wasn’t working for me, so I decided to transfer. UNC Asheville’s previous coach was actually recruiting me before I decided to go to State, so I thought of him and decided to email him,” Moore said. “I feel more welcomed on the team here and respected by the coaches and the administration. And because it’s a smaller school I feel a bigger sense of family. At a bigger school like State sometimes you get lost in all the hustle and bustle. You get lost in the huge athletic department.”
Playing sports has always been a big part of Moore’s life, but she never thought it would become this big or that she would become a leading volleyball player in college.
“I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old and for a while I didn’t even know what volleyball was. I used to shoot like a hundred free throws; I was a hardcore basketball girl. When I started volleyball in middle school I just thought, ‘Oh, this is something fun I can do with my friends.’ And then I started playing both volleyball and basketball, and then when I got to high school I just stopped playing basketball and started focusing on volleyball. I miss it but I don’t think I could play college basketball and be as successful as I am with volleyball,” said Moore.
Throughout her three years on the UNCA volleyball team, Moore has been recognized for many achievement. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina awarded her the title of Athlete of the Week twice and she received multiple honors from the Big South Conference. Last year she led the team in blocks with a 0.94, service aces with a 0.22 and hitting percentage at 0.267. She was second on club in kills, had 2.62 registered double-figures in kills in 16 matches and came in seventh in the Big South blocks and eighth in kills.
“At N.C. State I was a right-side and I was recruited here to come as a right-side, but they also knew that I played middle. So after the first week of games my sophomore year coach put me back in the middle. Originally I wasn’t happy about it at all because I love the right side. But I think it’s a good spot for me and I’m good with whatever is best for the team,” said Moore.
As soon as Moore joined the team her sophomore year she immediately felt at home and everything she did was for the overall well-being of the team.
“Coaching Anna Moore has been a fantastic privilege. She is a gifted, powerful athlete who is very committed to her studies as well as volleyball. On the court, she is a great example to her teammates in the form of hard work and commitment to team objectives and goals. You can always count on Anna to pick up a teammate when they are down as well as to help teammates succeed on and off the court. She is a selfless leader who is proud to be a Bulldog,” Coach Frederico Santos said.
Having basketball coach as a dad, Moore is very familiar with what it takes to be a good leader and how to stay motivated throughout the season.
“It’s awesome having a dad who coaches a sports team. He was my coach all the time until I got to middle school. And even then he was my sideline coach after games. He’s not very negative, which helps because a lot of times I am really hard on myself. It’s nice to have him encourage me and push me, especially during breaks,” Moore said.
Moore hasn’t decided whether she wants to continue playing volleyball after graduation, but her role as a leader and a coach will continue.
“When I’m done next fall my plan is to try to go to graduate school and be a graduate assistant for a volleyball program and hopefully get into college coaching. And if not I want to teach physical education and coach volleyball at a middle or high school,” Moore said.
Jaimie Dorfman, senior on the volleyball team, has been a teammate to Moore since they were 14 years old.
“Having her as my teammate is so natural and she’s so encouraging on and off the court. I admire her hard work and the passion she puts in the sport. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better best friend and teammate and I’m so blessed to have her,” Dorfman said.
Coaches and teammates agree Moore heavily influences the success of the UNC Asheville volleyball program.
“It feels good knowing that I contributed to the volleyball program. I want to leave knowing that I made it better than when I came here, and I feel like we already did that,” Moore said.