Accomplish, Lead and Succeed
May 27, 2014
During her career, libero Mariah Henley accumulated a list of statistics and accomplishments that make her one of the all-time greats in the history of the Villanova volleyball program. 1,703 career digs, third in school history. Averaged 3.91 digs per set throughout career, fourth in program history. Averaged 5.69 digs/set in 2012 and 5.09 digs/set in 2013, respectively, 12th and 32nd in the nation. Second Team All-BIG EAST in 2013. Two-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
Playing with a fierce mentality every time she stepped onto the court, Henley always believed she was the best player in the entire gym and nothing could stop her. Although she played with the mindset that no one was better, Henley put the team ahead of personal goals. She claimed that winning came first followed by her role as the team captain to make sure her teammates were in position to help win matches.
While Henley always had the skill set, she knew something was hindering her from being the type of player she wanted. And the former libero claims her confidence level is what catapulted her from being a good player to a great one. She mastered the art of mental toughness and played smarter than her opponents, which took her game to the next level and allowed her to dominate matches.
Henley sits near the top of numerous Villanova records despite not serving as the team libero until her junior season. During her first two years, Henley was a role player backing up the program's all-time digs leader, Kim Maroon, who she credits for a lot of success.
"I feel like I wouldn't be nearly as good of a player as I am without playing behind Kim Maroon. She had this approach where no ball was going to hit the floor around her and I wanted to do the same thing," Henley added. "It's sort of a Villanova tradition. She set the tone for what to expect at Villanova from the libero and how they should play."
The ability to be mentored and learn from one of the best was key to Henley's accomplishments on and off the court. She understood that early in her career, which ultimately molded her into the leader she has become.
Being that leader, Henley has instilled those same values on her younger teammates so that they can follow in the footsteps of one of the nation's top volleyball players. She stresses greatness and how the Wildcats youth, experience and other qualities will serve them well moving forward into next season and beyond.
Now finished with her volleyball career, Henley misses the work involved and chance to compete most. While she can't battle for loose balls and set up teammates for easy kills, the former libero aspires to battle in a different kind of court in the future. Henley is seeking the opportunity to translate her success on the court into the courtroom. She plans to attend law school and believes her role as a team captain will help her going forward as a professional.
"I want to be a lawyer for the same reasons I love being captain. I feel like what I am saying is always the right way and I know I am a good leader. Law interests me and I feel like others wouldn't want to argue with me. I want to use that same mentality I have on the volleyball court in a courtroom."
With that attitude and leadership qualities she has demonstrated, it's a safe bet that Henley will stop at nothing to attain what she sets her mind to and achieve her goals.