Sept. 30, 2011
By Jon Cooper
Every time Monique Mead takes the floor she does so with a purpose.
That purpose is primarily to drive a volleyball into the floor as many times as possible.
When Mead and her teammates on the Georgia Tech volleyball team, which is 8-5, 1-2 in ACC play, take the floor of O’Keefe Gym for their 6:30 p.m. battle with North Carolina (13-2, 1-1) in the second of the weekend’s two ACC matches — they hosted NC State on Friday — she’ll still be looking to drive home a different point, this time by keeping the ball off the floor.
Saturday is Tech’s annual “Digs for the Cure,” when the team dons pink uniforms, head bands and sweat bands and every dig not only helps her team, but also the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Atlanta. Fans are encouraged to donate based on number of digs or simply make a flat donation.
“Just knowing that it’s for a good cause and we’re helping to raise money for such a great cause is a great feeling and it’s something that I love doing,” said Mead, who admitted to being a big fan of all things pink. “It’s something I know all my teammates love doing. It’s nice being able to give back by dosing something as simple as playing volleyball, being able to have such an impact is awesome.
“It’s something that we all have known and it’s something that can be so personal,” she added. “To me, it’s something that speaks for itself and something that we’re going to play our hardest so we can win this match, not only to get the ACC win but because it’s for a good cause.”
The cause is especially personal for Tech, as graduate-assistant coach and former player Mary Ashley Tippins’ mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Mead said the match is for her and women like her who have battled and continue to battle against the malady.
With 138 digs on the season, Mead is second on the team to libero Nicki Meyer, who has 155. That commitment to being a two-way player is something she’s always taken great pride in.
“My defense has definitely steadily improved since my freshman year,” she said. “I’ve gotten more and more digs as I’ve gotten older. It’s just something you have to develop. Defense is not something that comes naturally. It’s something that our coach has always talked about. You have to be disciplined on defense, being in the right spot, being able to read the hitters. So it’s definitely something that has to be developed as a player.”
Mead and all of her teammates will be especially tuned in on Saturday against the Heels.