1970s and 1980s
Flora (“Flo”) Jean Hyman
Unarguably one of the most prolific athletes to ever play the sport, Flo Hyman was “The Goddess of Volleyball.” Leaving this world far too soon in 1986 (age 31), Hyman played for World Championships and was an Olympic Medalist (1984). Her specialty was the “Flying Clutchman”, a fast and hard volleyball spike that traveled 110 miles per hour. Hyman stood over 6’ 5” tall.
Hyman was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988.
(Sources and more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flo_Hyman; http://blackathlete.net/2005/02/the-goddess-of-volleyball/; http://blackathlete.net/2005/01/basn-focus-on-history-volleyball-pioneer-flo-hyman/; http://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/dubois/projects/african-american-national-biography/sample-entries/hyman-flora-%E2%80%9Cflo%E2%80%9D-31-july-1954-24 )
Also known as “The Rocket”, Rita Crockett was also an integral part of that 1984 Olympic Silver medal USA team. Crockett was chosen for the USA national team while studying at the University of Houston. Shorter in stature, Crockett relied on her outstanding athletic prowess to exhibit her awesome volleyball skill. Her 42” vertical leap allowed her to leap eight inches above a 10’ basketball rim!
In 1989, Crockett became the first African-American to win the World Beach Championship with partner Jackie Silva. She was inducted to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Crockett is currently Assistant Athletic Director and Head Coach of Indoor and Sand Volleyball at Florida International University.
(Sources and more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Crockett; https://www.allplayers.com/g/rita_crockett_volleyball_academy/dashboard/custom-2; http://www.fiusports.com/InsideAthletics/About/AdminStaffDirectory/RitaBuck-Crockett.aspx)
Another member of the dynamic 1984 Olympic Silver Medal team, Rose Magers first attended the University to Houston and finished her college career with Louisiana State University. She was a member of the USA National Team both in 1980 and 1984.
A timid personality, who did not play juniors’ club level volleyball, Magers was able wow everyone and rightfully earn a spot of the 1982 USA National Team where she was mentored by Flo Hyman. One of the youngest members of the team, Magers earned the position of starting middle blocker at the 1984 Olympics and the title Most Improved Player.
Now Magers-Powell, she is an accomplished coach and founder/director of the Rocket City Volleyball Club in Alabama. She is also Head Coach of Volleyball at Alabama A&M University.
Nona Richardson continues to have an impact more than 30 years after wrapping up her collegiate career as a volleyball player. Richardson was a standout player at Michigan State University from 1978 to 1981; she also was a member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) All-State team.
After finishing her career as a player, Richardson transitioned to coaching with stints Kentucky University (1984-87), Eastern Michigan University (1987-95) and Valparaiso University (1996-99). Her playing and coaching experience served as the perfect background for her transition to athletic administration at the collegiate level. Richardson has served as compliance coordinator, compliance director, associate athletic director, senior executive athletic director and now serves as Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Utah.
Highlighted as “The Complete Player” as a student-athlete at Penn State University, Nadia Edwards was a standout at the university from 1997 to 2000. A dynamic middle-hitter, Edwards was instrumental taking her team to three NCAA Final Fours, winning the championship in 1999.
After graduating, Edwards played three years professionally, both in the United States and abroad. She began coaching – starting as an graduate assistant for the Virginia Tech volleyball team then eventually as an assistant coach with both Ohio State University and Ohio University. In 2010, she became head volleyball coach at DePaul University where she is in her fourth season.
A standout player for California State University, Tara Cross-Battle helped the USA National Team win the bronze medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Cross-Battle competed on four different Olympic teams. Cross-Battle was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2014.
(Sources and more information: http://volleyball.about.com/od/volleyball101/p/Profile-Tara-Cross-Battle.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tara_Cross-Battle)
Having earned numerous awards throughout her career, Danielle Scott-Arruda garnered some of her earliest accolades while playing for Long Beach State University in the early ‘90s.
Scott-Arruda competed in four Olympic games beginning in 1996 and was instrumental in bringing silver medals home for both the 2008 and 2012 USA teams.
(Sources and more information: http://www.teamusa.org/usa-volleyball/athletes/Danielle-ScottArruda)
The Oden Sisters – Kim Oden, Elaina Oden and Bev Oden
Affectionately referred to as the Smash Sisters, each woman is one-third of the only family that has dominated the sport of volleyball. Following in their older sister Kim’s footstep, Elaina and Bev decided to also pursue the sport as children. Kim played for Stanford University and went on to play in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games, serving as team captain for both teams. She helped the 1992 earn a Bronze medal. Elaina played for Pacific University and also played for the Bronze-winning 1992 U.S. Olympic team. Bev also attended Stanford University and played for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team.
(Sources and more information: http://www.gostanford.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30600&ATCLID=208438563; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Oden; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaina_Oden; http://www.volleyball.org/people/bev_oden.html)