Enthusiasm is the cornerstone of a successful volleyball team, and Meredith Damore's enthusiasm on and off the court is apparent at first glance. Moving up the ranks, this sophomore has found her role at Penn-that of a dominating defender. Damore has made her mark as the Libero, the defensive specialist and an integral part of the back court. Stepping into large shoes during her freshman season last year, she proved to the team that she was ready and able to take on such a great responsibility. Additionally, Meredith has taken the incoming freshmen under her wing, proving her great leadership along with skill on the court.
"Last season I tried to absorb as much as I could from the rest of the starters that were veterans. But now, because three freshmen are seeing playing time this year, I try to help them as much as I can since I know what they're going through. It's pretty tough to come onto a successful Division I volleyball team as a freshman and fill shoes or meet expectations. But they're all doing a great job of keeping composure and getting their job done well. Overall, I'm trying to step up as more of a vocal leader this year."
This season is shaping up to be an exciting one, with a host of Ivy League scores to settle and teams to overcome. Meredith is "really pumped" about this weekend's events. Besides playing against Dartmouth and Harvard, the Palestra will be filled with antsy basketball fans clamoring for season tickets.
Damore's outlook for the upcoming season is a positive one. She knows that the team will work hard and achieve great things.
She says 'I'm looking forward to the road to a fourth Ivy league championship for the Penn volleyball team. Being a part of the legacy as a freshman was a magical experience, and I really want the freshman to experience that same pride that comes with being an Ivy League champion."
In addition to her work on the court, Damore is involved with other campus activities such as MUSE, Wharton’s Marketing Undergraduate Student Establishment. She also spent time this summer traveling Europe with Meghan Scholat, a former Penn setter that graduated in 2004. The two visited to London, Paris, Berlin and Munich, Germany.
While balancing her athletic and academic load, Damore has forged a strong bond with her teammates. Spending time with her best friends has made her volleyball experience unique and special. Whether it's spending long hours on road trips, in practices or just hanging out, Damore knows that she has developed a tight-knit group of friends through volleyball.
"The players on the team are my best friends, my roommates, and the relationship we all have together is a life-long one. This team motivates and pushes me to be the best player I can be, and challenges me to go above and beyond the call of duty on and off the court."
~Written by Staci Siporin, C’05, for the Oct. 16 Game Day Program