Athlete Profile: Donohue fulfilled by team and CMU

To senior policy and management and social and political history double major Eliza Donohue, losing has never been an option — at least not since she was in seventh grade. At 12 years old, Donohue began her competitive volleyball career. Inspired by her dad, brother, and sister, she continued with the sport for ten full years, even being recruited to Carnegie Mellon’s team during high school. Donohue pushed herself to new limits during the time she played for Carnegie’s Women’s Varsity Volleyball team and made the All-University Athletic Association (UAA) team this past month.

Playing middle blocker, Donohue is responsible for both blocking the opposing team’s hits and executing kills. Her skills in this area were noticed by other coaches in the UAA, who later voted her onto the All-UAA team. These coaches are from various teams within the UAA conference — not just from Carnegie Mellon — which only increases the prestige of being elected to the position.

“We have to play every team in our conference so all the coaches see all the players and then they pick who they think should be recognized on the All-UAA team; [this year] the other UAA coaches recognized my contributions to my team,” said Donohue.

Donohue also takes on the responsibility of training younger players to navigate the game and its stresses as co-captain. Donohue claims the ability to do so leads them to keep a more positive example; it also allows them to accomplish goals they have set for the season.

“I watched myself grow as a player and a leader throughout my time at CMU. I watch[ed] my team change and grow and it has been a really awesome and unique experience; this year our team was very close and united in our goal. Every season our goal is to make it [to the] NCAAs and to have fun doing it... and we made it happen,” said Donohue.

The experience Donohue has gained from playing on Carnegie Mellon’s team has been invaluable to her college experience.

Not only did she grow alongside the team through her four years, but she also experienced cities and events she otherwise would not have.
“I love the relationships I have gained being a part of the [CMU Volleyball] family. We win and lose together and are constantly ready to push each other to make each other better. I love going out to dinner after a big win and being surrounded by my favorite people,” said Donohue.

Without her team, Donohue would not be the same. The family that has come from playing volleyball and the leadership experience that has come from her position as co-captain are invaluable to her.

“The team has shown me what it takes to be a leading woman. My teammates... make me proud to be at an institution like CMU [and] have shown me how to have more confidence and work hard. I believe that being a part of this team has allowed me to unlock my potential at Carnegie Mellon; going through the challenges of CMU is way easier having a team at my back,” said Donohue.