-Marcelo Maziero, Contributing Writer
Holly Tupper has been playing sports her whole life, but it was in the sixth grade that she discovered the sport that would give her a very successful college career: volleyball.
According to the MC senior, her high school coach, Donna Pixley, played a very important role in her life and in her volleyball career. “She is a very important person in my life, because she always helped me to develop as an athlete and also as a person,” Tupper said. When she was a high school senior and started to look for colleges to attend, she came to visit Mississippi College and fell in love with the school. She knew she wanted to keep playing volleyball in college, and she had good connections in MC through several of her high school friends. That was how she got in touch with MC volleyball coach, Peter Cosmiano.
Even before her college career started, Tupper was setting new records for her high school, Dunham School. As a player there, she recorded 53 kills, 649 digs and 81 aces. She also won the First Team All-District Performer twice, Second Team All-District Performer, All-Metro Team Selection, Episcopal All-Tournament Team Selection, Coach’s Award, Tiger Tradition Award and was chosen the team captain for three times.
After joining the Lady Choctaws, Tupper, who plays as a libero (a defensive specialist position) and wears the jersey number 22, was awarded three times Honorable Mention in the ASC. She received the Best Defensive Player Award and Newcomer in her freshman year, and in her sophomore and junior years, she received the Best Defensive Player Award. This year she played as the captain of the volleyball team.
Tupper’s achievements go beyond awards. In the four complete seasons she’s been in, Tupper managed to play in every single game. She also set two new school records: most digs in a career with 1.825 digs and most digs in a single match with 41 digs.
The transition between D3 and D2 was not easy for the volleyball team, but Tupper saw the challenge as a motivation. “The D2 level of competition is a huge step up from D3. Coming into this season, I expected it to be difficult. I knew the transition would be difficult, but the challenge also excited me,” she said. “The game is much faster. The athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster and hitters hit the ball much harder. I am a very competitive person, so I loved the opportunity to play some of the best hitters in D2 in the GSC.” Tupper concluded that, “It was difficult at times especially having such a young team and experiencing injuries, but I loved getting to experience volleyball at the high level of the GSC.”