ATHLETE PROFILE: Aislinn McCloskey

Recently receiving the honor of Volleyball Athlete of the Week from the University Athletic Association (UAA), sophomore Aislinn McCloskey has had a promising beginning to her first fall season with the team. The Tartan took time to talk to newcomer McCloskey about how the sport affects her life at Carnegie Mellon and her hopes for her rookie season.

Tartan: When did you first become serious about playing volleyball? Were you inspired by other athletes?
McCloskey: I didn’t actually start playing volleyball until high school. My middle school didn’t have a team, so before that the extent of my experience was basically the P.E. games we’d play with those giant beach balls, and it wasn’t really until the very end of my sophomore year that I really got into the volleyball groove. To be honest, I’d always considered basketball to be my serious sport, but volleyball just grabbed me and sucked me in. And I’m glad it did, because I love it a ridiculous amount.

T: The volleyball team was very successful last season winning the East Coast Athletic Conference tournament. What goals do you have for this season?
M: I walked onto the team last spring and our goals for this season are to take it as far as we can, to the NCAA tournament. We have a team full of really, really talented people, and it’s going to be about living up to our potential and putting it all out there.

T: How have you adjusted to life in Pittsburgh, which is quite different from your native Louisiana?
M: I don’t really have a hometown, per se. It’s actually a running joke among my friends that I’m a nomad because my family has moved around so much, and Louisiana just happened to be the place I graduated from high school. I was only there for three years. All that moving has made adjusting to different situations relatively easy, and I settled into Pittsburgh life without too many problems.

T: What is your favorite class so far this semester, or in past semesters?
M: Organic chemistry. People always look at me crazy when I say that, but it’s true. I pretty much love all chemistry and organic is my favorite.

T: Do you think it is easier to manage your time while participating in a sport? How so?
M: For me personally, it’s a lot easier. I do better in structured situations. I like knowing exactly what I have to do and how much time I have to do it in. It makes procrastinating that much harder!

T: What was your favorite Olympic event to watch? If you could compete at the games, what sport would you participate in ideally?
M: Definitely the synchronized diving. The coordination and timing needed just blew my mind and it was incredibly mesmerizing to watch.

T: If you could be a celebrity for a day, who would you be and why?
M: Pat Benatar, so I could finally stop butchering “Love is a Battlefield.”

T: What do you hope to pursue after your career at Carnegie Mellon?
M: I’m majoring in chemical engineering, and I’m hoping to use that once I graduate to get into the alternative energy industry.

McCloskey and her teammates next compete Friday at the Gettysburg College Blast in Gettysburg, Pa.