Freshman setter takes on role as leader on court, motivator


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Comet setter Kimberly Calip is ranked seventh in assists in the Bay Valley Conference. She has been playing volleyball since the eighth grade and is a freshman on the Contra Costa College volleyball team.

By Alex Kwasniza, Staff Writer

Every team in any sport needs someone who can be a staple and is willing to put their teammates in a position to succeed.
This someone for Contra Costa College’s volleyball team is Kimberly Calip.
Calip, 18, was born in San Francisco in 1999 and has grown up most of her life in Hercules.
This is her second year attending CCC, but her first year playing volleyball for the Comets, who presently own a 1-12 overall record, 1-6 in the Bay Valley Conference.
But she said she has been enjoying every second of it.
Calip has many years of experience when it comes to volleyball. “I’ve been playing the game since the eighth grade,” she said.
She began playing organized volleyball in a local church youth sports program before playing at Hercules High School. She graduated from Hercules in 2017.
A setter is a vital role for any volleyball team, as that person is responsible for putting her teammates in a position to score and succeed.
The setter must be a good leader, consistent, a quick decision-maker and have a great understanding of the game.
“It’s one of the most important positions on the team and I think I have a really big responsibility carrying the team and trying to help them use their skills to their fullest,” she said.
Calip not only serves in the role of setter, but does it extremely well according to her teammates.
Comet sophomore libero Delanie Baca said, “She is the absolute staple to our team. Without her hard work and dedication to our team we would not be functional, at all. Not only does she hustle hard on and off the court — she is a real genuine person.”
Creating a friendship and a good sense of unity with your teammates is always important, and Calip said she feels as though she has done just that.
She said, “Me and my teammates have formed a really strong bond.”
When Calip first joined the volleyball team, she didn’t know anyone on the team and was worried about how her relationships would be with her teammates. She also wondered if she would gain any new friendships.
“Now I see my team as a family. We’re all sisters,” Calip said.
“Before every game we always motivate each other to do our best and play for each other and just have fun on the court. What I really appreciate about them is how we can talk to each other about anything.”
The Comet setter is also very fond of the coach of the Comet volleyball team, Christy Tianaro.
“She’s been really supportive,” Calip said.
She also said coach Tianaro has been open to new ideas and been great at helping the Comets perform well as a team.
The coach shares a similar sentiment about Calip.
Tianaro said, “She’s one of the sweetest players I know. She’s also very smart on and off the court. She’s very supportive.”
Calip is a chemistry major and hopes to get her associate degree before transferring to a university.
However, being a student-athlete is no easy task as she can find managing everything quite challenging sometimes.
“One of the hardest things I have to do is juggle school and volleyball,” Calip said.
All participating athletes are required to be full-time students and they have to manage practice, homework, study hall and game schedules.
“Finding the time to study, keep my grades up and find the motivation to work is probably the most challenging part. But I think that with a strong mindset I can do anything.”
Calip intended go to a state university after graduating from Hercules, but ultimately decided on CCC and says she does not regret her decision at all.
Instead, she said it turned out to be “the best fit for me.”
She also said, “I think it’s a really good college in terms of academics, location, cost and all the classes and professors they have to offer.”
One of Calip’s biggest motivations in life is her boyfriend, who also plays volleyball.
“He encourages me and inspires me to be a really good volleyball player because he is such a good volleyball player,” she said.
This could be Calip’s last years of organized volleyball and she is undecided on whether she will play for CCC again next season.
At the moment she does not plan to continue playing at whatever university she transfers to.