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Junior White has come long way since joining volleyball program

Morgan Taylor | Staff Photographer Freshman setter Kylie Copple, right, sets up the ball for junior middle blocker Angelique White to spike against Ohio on Sept. 27 at McGuirk Arena.

With a few years under her belt, the Central Michigan University volleyball team’s junior middle blocker, Angelique White finally feels she is coming into her own on and off of the court.

“Freshman year was just kind of a blur,” White said. “When you get here, the pace of the game is honestly nothing that you have seen before you got here.”

During her first few years in the maroon and gold, things seemed faster than she than she could handle.

“To be honest, volleyball here is like a completely different sport compared to club and high school volleyball,” she said. “Reflecting on how I have adjusted to the speed of the game now compared to when I was a freshmen, it’s like night and day.”

Her coach and mentor, Erik Olson, said White has had the potential to succeed from day one.

“Angie was our team’s best blocker statistically as a freshman,” Olson said. “Over the last two seasons, she has become our best blocker in every aspect. She has better timing, and understands the game better than she did before.”

White has tallied 14 solo blocks this season and ranks first in the Mid-American Conference in blocks averaging 1.2 per set during the 55 sets she has played in 2014.

The skills that have led to these outstanding numbers have not come over night. White said It was trial by fire for the Detroit-native when she arrived at CMU.

“As a freshmen, the coaches kind of just threw me out there,” White said. “I really didn’t have a choice but to adjust. I learned from experience just getting out there with the big dogs and figuring things out.”

Olson praised White on her athletic ability and specifically the fine-tuning of her vertical jump since her freshman season.

“She is one of our best athletes,” Olson said. “Her vertical is around 33-34 inches. That’s pretty outstanding for a female athlete.”

White said she has become addicted to the court.

“I get an adrenaline rush playing volleyball that you honestly don’t get anywhere else,” she said. “When we are struggling in matches and you don’t have that adrenaline rush, it affects your life.

“I just live for that rush that I get when I play because it correlates to every aspect of my life. I’m a happier person, and everything just flows when I’m playing volleyball.”

Fellow junior middle blocker Kalle Mulford said her performance is directly affected by White’s passion and athleticism.

“Angie and I have really come together as a unit in the middle,” Mulford said. “We call it the middle family and we feel like we are one position. Whatever I don’t know, she knows. It has been crazy how close we have gotten this year.”

Now in her third year, White said that she feels more comfortable with her decision making process on the court.

“My aggression and drive translates to other players on the team,” she said. “I have the mindset that we’re never going to give up. We’re never going to just hand anybody anything.”

Off the court, Mulford said White tends to want everything to go her way no matter the situation.

“Sometimes Angie thinks that she runs the world and sometimes we have to put her down and say "hey calm down diva,” Mulford said.

But White believes that her personality just shows how dedicated she is to excellence on and off of the court.

“A lot of people call it being a Diva,” she said. “I know what I want out of life and I get after it. It comes off as being diva-ish, but I know what kind of life I want to live.

"I’m not going to settle for anything else.”