November 2014, Volume 18, Number 4

Making Their Mark

MDC's Sharks volleyball team
The MDC Sharks volleyball team is off to an impressive start for the 2014 season, beating two of the top 15 junior-college teams.

Acing It

Miami Dade College’s women’s volleyball team opened the 2014 season by beating two of the top 15 junior-college teams in the nation, including No. 5 College of Central Florida.

“We’re off to a great start,” said sophomore Merrisa D. Murphy, who is a 6-foot middle blocker from the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Those were only our second and third games, and we played outstandingly well. Just imagine how good we’ll be by the end of the season.”

That’s exactly what MDC’s 10th-year head coach Orígines “Kiko” Benoit is thinking.

The team has six sophomores and eight freshmen, and Benoit believes those young players will improve as the season reaches its conclusion late this fall.

Diverse Lineup

The 14 Shark players hail from around world, including Colombia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Greece, Venezuela and the U.S. It’s a hard-working, ambitious bunch.

Murphy, for example, is majoring in psychology and wants to become a naval officer.

Adara Anselmo, a 5-foot-9 defensive specialist from Miami’s Coral Reef High School, wants to become a nurse and plans to lend a hand in countries around the world, starting with Brazil.

Murphy and Anselmo said they are both grateful for the opportunity they have to study and play at Miami Dade College, and they plan to take advantage by working as hard as possible.

But Benoit said that no one on his roster is working any harder than Silvia Galeano, a 5-foot-10 sophomore outside hitter from Nechi, Colombia.

Creating Team Spirit

Galeano, who wants to become a psychologist, plans to use volleyball to change her family’s financial fortunes, and her hunger to achieve that goal has shown through on and off the court.

“She came here without knowing any English,” Benoit said, “and, in nine months, she has made amazing progress.”

On the court, Galeano has been MDC’s best player so far this season, Benoit said.

Galeano’s teammates have noticed her work ethic.

“She eats, drinks and sleeps volleyball,” Murphy said. “She is so in love with the game, and I admire that about her. She has a winning personality that inspires the team.”

— WV

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.