Athlete Profile: Siana Maradol



Athlete Profile: Siana Maradol

By Copy Editor

While starting up a nonprofit organization, taking 19 credit hours and holding a job sounds like a pretty full schedule, Siana Maradol still finds time to play volleyball every week.

Maradol is the libero, or defensive specialist, for the Columbia Renegades co-ed volleyball team. She is from Micronesia, an island in the Pacific Ocean, where she started playing volleyball in fourth grade before moving to Indiana at age 11. She is currently working on creating a nonprofit called The New Lens Project, which works to support human rights.

The Chronicle spoke to Maradol about her past volleyball success, her nonprofit organization and her position on the Renegades volleyball team.

THE CHRONICLE: Why did you start playing volleyball?

SIANA MARADOL: I lived in Micronesia at the time, and it was just one of those things that everyone did, I guess. I just got into it. It was part of the culture. There’s not much to do.

CC: Why did you decide to join the Renegades volleyball team?

SM: I was definitely really passionate about [volleyball]. I started playing for my high school’s junior team in middle school. That progressed into me knowing all the coaches and knowing how they do it, knowing how they run practices. I spent more time [playing] volleyball than I did doing schoolwork.

CC: How long have you been playing for the Renegades?

SM: This is my second semester playing with them. I didn’t even know we had sports until my friend told me all about it.

CC: Why do you play defensively as a libero rather than front-row positions?

SM: I’m a little too short to do other positions. I wish I was taller; I could be a hitter and be awesome like that, but I’m just a little 5’2” person.

CC: What is your favorite thing about playing volleyball?

SM: I love the adrenaline rush. Watching a hitter go up and hit the ball and having that satisfaction of digging that pass up—I think that’s my favorite part of it. Denying the hit- ter their point, I love it.

CC: What does volleyball mean to you?

SM: It’s definitely a stress reliever right now. I’m doing all this work. I’m taking 19 credits on top of doing this project. It’s definitely a stress relief. Twice a week, we can just go in and have fun for a couple hours. On top of a job, too. I don’t know how I do it.

CC: What is it like playing for the Renegades volleyball team?

SM: We’re always really positive and we’re cheering each other on. There’s no negativity, which is awesome because sometimes with sports that’s a big thing. It’s pretty awesome.

CC: Do you have a preference between playing co-ed and playing with girls-only teams?

SM: No, definitely not. It’s pretty much the same thing. It’s just that guys are a lot taller, apparently, which helps.

CC: What can you tell us about The New Lens Project?

SM: Recently, at Columbia, me and a couple of undergrads started this project, The New Lens Project. We teach photography to marginalized youth and that gives them a voice to speak out. All of this will culminate into an exhibition in the spring right before Manifest. We’re in solidarity with the Dreamcatcher Foundation, which is [focused on] human rights and [preventing] violence against women. We want [people] to send in [their] selfies and what city [they’re] from, and we’re going to put them on a map in the exhibition and show students how many people around the world are in solidarity with what they’ve been through.