Karol Marquez has played almost every position on the volleyball court.
“I have been playing volleyball since I was nine,” Marquez said, “and I have played every position except for setter.”
Marquez, a fourth-year public relations student from Lima, Peru, is the libero for Florida A&M’s volleyball team. A libero is a defensive specialist position in indoor volleyball.
Marquez is a part of the preseason all-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team. FAMU is expecting big things from her this season.
The 5-foot-6-inch Marquez is shorter than the average defensive player. However, Pamela Barrera, a teammate of Marquez and fourth-year Spanish student from Lima, said Marquez is a little person with a lot of heart. They have been playing together for the past four years.
“She has a positive attitude and never gives up,” Barrera said. “She’s the tiny person who pulls the team together.”
Players and fans can feel Marquez’s energy while she is on the court. Sierra Fareed, a fourth-year political science student from Tampa, agrees.
“She is always the first one to run up and start hugging everyone and celebrating when we score a point,” Fareed said. “When you see her getting so hyped, you can’t help but get hyped too.”
As a former captain, Marquez believes it is her responsibility to keep her teammates inspired and motivated.
“I have to support my teammates and encourage them to stay positive during the games if we are winning or not,” Marquez said.
She also sets personal goals. One of her goals is to read plays better.
“I want to be able to read plays faster and know what the other team’s hitters are planning to do so I can be more prepared,” Marquez said.
In the Lady Rattlers’ last game against Bethune-Cookman University, Marquez sprinted to the back of the court and dived in a successful attempt to save the ball. It was one the highlights of the game and one of the better moments in her career.
As Marquez pushes herself to achieve individual goals, she encourages the team’s goal of improving its overall accuracy.
“I think that we need to get more consistent and play with the same energy every match,” Marquez said. “I think we are on the right track, but only time will tell.”