Athlete of the Week: Ellie Holzman

Abby Alonzo, Staff Member

Mount Carmel Academy’s elite varsity volleyball team is known statewide for its indisputable team spirit and support; each player has a personal cheer that is shouted by their teammates when she scores a point. That being said, “Peanut butta Ellie time!”- a parody of the early 2000’s hit “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”- is heard quite often during a single game.

Sophomore Ellie Holzman, the 6’2” middle blocker for MCA, is a prodigious asset to the team not only on the court but in the locker room and classroom. In addition to leading the team in kills and blocks, she also leads it with her exceptional attitude and remarkable grades. Ellie is the epitome of an ideal student athlete.

With a perfect G.P.A. of 4.7, Ellie maintains her grades and consistently performs on the court. Of course, this is expected of all players by Coach April Hagadone, as the word “student” in “student athlete” precedes the word “athlete”.

Although Holzman manages to keep up with both of these priorities, it is not as easy of a  task as she makes it out to be. In a recent interview with the athlete, she made that idea clear:

“Yeah, it’s a lot more difficult than people would think. But after a while, it’s easy to get into a routine that works, and I seem find a good balance between the two. There is never a break between school or volleyball, so I find it important to never slack off, because it won’t help either situation.” She speaks on behalf of all student athletes when she says this.

In this same interview, Holzman was asked what three characteristics a student athlete should obtain in order to be successful. After a moment, she responded, “The first is motivation. You will get nothing done if you don’t have a drive that pushes you forward. Next is open mindedness. I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. A player that accepts help from others is so much more successful than a player who is stubborn and wants to do everything on their own. The last one is acceptance. There are gonna be good days and bad days, and I’ve learned to make the most out of what I’m given. Take the bad days and learn from them to make the next day even better.” With these words, she gave solid advice to every student athlete out there.

Ellie never fails to put her team before herself, and it shows through her positive and self-less attitude. Even though the team has recently been facing a bit of adversity and challenge, the players continue to persevere and do the best to their abilities. Holzman reinstated the meaning of team as she spoke on what she thought the future of the MCA Cubs looked like:

“I see bright things for this team in the future, but it’s certainly going to take everything we’ve got. Every person on this team plays a huge role in many different ways, and when everyone does her part, we are capable of great things. The only thing standing in our way is ourselves, and once we overcome that, I believe that we can be unstoppable.”

So for those who believe that it is impossible to balance academics and extracurriculars, think again. Ellie Holzman is proof that through hard-work, dedication, and optimism, what seems unimaginable is actually quite capable of being done.

Remember to keep up with Ellie and the MCA Cubs via the school’s website, www.mcacubs.com, or the team’s twitter, @volleycubs.