Meet The Cardinal: Erin Waller

Oct. 29, 2008

Erin Waller is a senior opposite hitter from Ballwin, Mo. who has been a regular member of Stanford's starting rotation for the last three seasons. Erin has a history of stepping up in big matches for the Cardinal, with the best performances of her career coming in last year's regional final (19 kills vs. UCLA) and in the 2006 NCAA title match (18 kills vs. Nebraska). So far this year, Erin is averaging 1.38 kps with a .291 hitting percentage. She is coming off arguably her best match of the year, with 11 kills on 18 swings (.556) in the team's win at UCLA last Sunday.

Describe where you're from. What do you miss most about it?

I'm from Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. I live about 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, but you could find thousands of acres of farmland about 25 minutes from my house as well. The thing I miss most about home (aside from my family) is my dog Zeke, the best looking yellow lab you'll ever see! Every time I come home, I always look forward to walking through my front door and seeing him jumping around, wagging his tail. The first thing I do when I go home is play with Zeke in the family room for a while. My mom says when I'm not there, she'll ask Zeke: 'Where's Erin?' and he'll go upstairs and look in my room.

You had three jobs at one point in high school. What were they?

At one point during the summer after my senior year of high school, I had three jobs while also playing club volleyball and working out regularly with a strength and conditioning coach. I was an office assistant at a furniture store, I worked at a gym, and I was a waitress at a restaurant called Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrels are located all over the Midwest, and are usually located right off a major interstate highway. To say the least, I encountered many interesting people. A lot of truckers would stop in for a good hearty breakfast, and I even served a Mennonite family. My most memorable day as a waitress was when my family came in for lunch and requested to sit in my section. After they finished eating, my dad left me a fifty-dollar tip!!

What's your first memory playing volleyball?

The first time I attempted to play volleyball, my knee was wrapped in gauzes and covered with an ace-wrap. The night before the first day of fifth-grade volleyball camp, I went to the park with my two younger brothers and my mom. My brother Michael, who was probably seven at the time, found an empty glass bottle lying around and decided to smash it on the sidewalk. My mom picked up the pieces and put them in a plastic bag, which I demanded to carry back home. For some reason, I was running home with the bag in my hand and hadn't noticed that a chunk of glass was protruding out of the side. The glass sliced deep into my leg close to my knee. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed that I couldn't participate during camp. To this very day, doctors still ask me what surgery I've had on my knee when they see the giant scar.

What's the best vacation you've ever taken or favorite vacation spot?

Tahoe during the winter is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Last winter, my dorm took a weekend trip up there. It was the first time I'd ever been to a major ski resort, and on the first chair lift ride up the mountain, I dropped my glove on a double black diamond. There was no way I was going to ski the entire rest of the day without a glove, so the first run I attempted was on the most challenging slope there. I ended up sliding most of the way down on my rear and couldn't even manage to find my glove. However, I did find about five gloves that other skiers had lost while riding up the chair lift! The night before we had left, a major snowstorm hit, and completely buried our cars in snow. Being from a place with snowy winters, I was able to inspire a particular southern Californian with my expert shoveling skills.

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