Off the Net: Carly Edwards Profile
Sept. 10, 2013
Carly Edwards is a senior for the Villanova volleyball team that has excelled on the court, playing in 66 matches and 196 sets in her career for the Wildcats. The 6'5 right side hitter has totaled 242 kills and is on the cusp of breaking into the school's top-10 career list for total blocks with 125 over the past three seasons. On top of that, Edwards received a special honor in the summer of 2012 when she was selected to play for Team USA at a pair of promotional tournaments in China.
Although her on the court accolades and honors are plenty noteworthy, what separates Edwards from the average student-athlete is her accomplishments off the court. She serves as a leader for various organizations on and off campus, while talking on a rigorous curriculum and a full-time volleyball schedule.
After being voted as Co-President of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) by her peers, the Okemos, Mich. native facilitated an `Athletes for Athletes' program which was created to improve the unity among student-athletes at Villanova by attending games and events of the numerous Wildcat teams. Simultaneously she creates and organizes Bible studies on a weekly basis for the Victory and Christ Student-Athlete Bible Study she is in charge of.
Edwards was previously the Vice President of, and an integral part of putting together the LEVEL program which helps level the playing field for students of differing abilities. Last season while playing for Team USA in China, Edwards began a blog to share with everyone the wonderful experience she partook in while playing with tremendous student-athletes in a different country. Edwards credits her time management skills to balance school, volleyball and the various organizations she is a leader and a part of.
"Coach Steinbach talks about seeing the play ahead and trying to get ready for the next thing that happens," Edwards added. "The same thing applies off the court. I use my time management abilities and sort my priorities to accomplish everything I want."
On the court, Edwards suffered her second ACL knee tear that sidelined her for the last 12 matches of her junior season. Edwards used that adversity as a learning experience and challenged herself to get better as a teammate and leader. Although she was not able to help her team by attacking balls and blocking opponents, Edwards was approachable to others and would give teammates, especially the underclassmen, advice from the sidelines.
Edwards, a Communications major, hopes to use her work ethic and leadership abilities to land an internship working in the same field she loves so much, collegiate athletics. Although she was rehabbing her knee to prepare for the upcoming season, Edwards found time last summer to return home to Michigan and volunteer with the Michigan State athletic department to gain practical experience that will be beneficial in life after volleyball.
"Obviously having a passion for volleyball and for competing at the Division I level, I thought it's something I would love to pursue. Especially being in that network, I've already got some contacts working with me," Edwards said. "I want to try to get some experience, whether it's here or in Philly and see how things are run that allows us to be successful in what we do."
The senior is set to graduate in the spring and plans to use her network to land an internship that allows her to take on various roles within an athletic department to see what she can contribute and what best suits her. Following a year of work, Edwards wants to return to school to pursue her Master's degree.
Whether it's writing a blog, assisting disabled students or spiking opponents, it's easy to say that Edwards has truly embraced the wonderful opportunity she was given at Villanova University. There is little doubt that Edwards will continue to be successful in whatever path she takes after volleyball.
"Carly is one of those kids that works extremely hard in whatever she does," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "She is a great person to have around the team who is self-motivated and one of those kids I am never worried about. I did not know she wanted to work in collegiate athletics but I have no doubt in my mind that she will be successful in whatever she puts her mind and chooses to do."