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ND Volleyball: Silva focuses on improvement

Cory Bernard | Thursday, September 8, 2011

Senior libero Frenchy Silva has already cracked one top-10 list and will soon join another. The senior, one of the program’s best talents, however, remains focused on other accomplishments.

Silva averaged 3.25 digs-per-set during her first three years in an Irish uniform, good for fourth place on the school’s all-time list. She has opened this season digging at a 4.26 clip. Additionally, her 1,041 career digs place her just two away from tying ’97 graduate Angie Harris for 10th all-time, though by the season’s end she will likely finish much higher. Silva said she didn’t realize her place in the record books.

“I was actually surprised to find out,” she said. “I don’t follow personal statistics too closely. Obviously I want to do the best I can, but I never look that closely at stats.”

Silva said that while her dedication over the years has paid off in the form of some impressive career results, she gains more satisfaction from wins on the court.

“It’s nice to know that [the career statistics] are an affirmation of hard work counting for something, because we all put in a lot of work,” Silva said. “Volleyball is such a team sport, though. It always means more to me to be an important part of the team success. That’s what I look at.”

Because of her unselfish dedication to success, Silva has enjoyed an increase in output each of her three full seasons. She began this season in the same fashion and credited her improvement to the leaders in the program.

“I definitely think I see personal improvement,” Silva said. “I can see myself freshman year — and I can see the freshmen now — and see how much I’ve grown. Being in the program, we become students of the game, especially playing at this high level. Having all the training really pays off.”

Silva said she has also seen personal growth in another challenging aspect of collegiate sports — juggling academic responsibilities.

“You learn how to manage your time really well, especially being in a fall sport because you jump right in,” she said. “You have to know how to work on buses, work on planes and just be able to get stuff done.”

Now with over three full years of college under her belt, Silva said it is different to think of herself as a senior, but she enjoys sharing her wealth of knowledge with younger teammates.

“When I really think about it, it’s a little weird,” Silva said of being one of the veterans. “You have a perspective on what the older seniors were doing when you were a freshman, all the things that go on behind the scenes. I enjoy having all the experience that I do so I can help them with things that are second nature to me now — what classes to take, where to go, things like that.”