Amanda Craig had opportunities to
go to other colleges; after all she was a first-team all-state performer in the
But when those bigger named volleyball colleges came calling, cardinal and gold was all Craig heard.
"People asked me why I came here," she said. "Why I came to a losing program and I really wanted to be a part of a program that was on the way up and rebuilding. I wanted to be someone who helped to make a difference."
Craig's ISU career hasn't been picture perfect, the squad hasn't had a winning season since Craig's been on the court and she's had to rehab back from four different surgeries.
But she thinks finally this is the year for her and her ISU teammates.
"This is my best preseason yet," Craig said. "I'm healthy all the way through which is awesome. I'm really excited to play. With our new coaches we're just playing at a whole new level."
Last season Craig took over the
setter position, playing in 103-of-104 games. She tallied 1,130 assists, which
was the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. Her 1,346 career
assists rank seventh all-time at
First year head coach Christy Johnson said those statistics highlight Craig's versatility. Johnson said that most college setters have been setting since they were freshmen or sophomores in high school.
"Amanda is an exceptional athlete," Johnson said. "When I first came in I was worried because I knew she hadn't set that much. I was a setter and I know how long it took to learn the position, but she's such a great athlete she picked it up so quickly. She's what other people have in reps and years of time, she's able to make up for because she's so athletic."
As her ISU volleyball career winds down, Craig said she couldn't have been happier with the decision she made.
"I couldn't have asked for better people, a better environment," she said. "The people here are amazing and that's what makes your college experience. It's not how many games you win, how many you lose. It's the coaching staff, the players and your friends."