Claire Archibald aims to succeed on, off court

Archibald (right) congratulates teammate junior Jessica Paolucci after a play.

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

Iona College junior Claire Archibald has spent over two years being the outside hitter for the Iona volleyball team. She set the single season kills record with 378 during her freshman campaign. Archibald was named to the All-Metro Atlantic Conference Rookie team and received MAAC Rookie of the Week honors three times.

Archibald led the Gaels and ranked ninth in the conference in kills with 304 as a sophomore. She was second on the team with 302 digs and tallied a team best 45 aces, while being named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.

For the accounting major, being a student-athlete has shown its difficulties. Despite that, Archibald has managed to stay on top of things on the court and in the classroom, while developing a strong bond with her teammates.

RM: How would you describe your time at Iona?

CA: “I guess the best way to put it is productive. I think I have been able to accomplish a lot in the past two years. This year going into my junior year, I feel like there is a lot I have yet to accomplish. Iona has really set up the road for me to be successful in whatever I want to accomplish in life and I have a good head on my shoulders.”

Archibald, who is a native of Coto de Caza, California, had to make a big change as she and her family moved to Maryland before the start of her freshman year. In addition to that, she had to make the adjustment to life in New York.

Archibald quickly had to learn about her new environment and the way people acted in New York compared to California. One of the biggest things Archibald learned was that she needed a new wardrobe.

RM: What was the adjustment process like going from California to Iona and living in Maryland?

CA: “I definitely had to buy a new wardrobe. I didn’t have a lot of things I needed and I wasn’t aware weather wise. Also the people are very different and the way of life is very different. In Maryland where I live, it’s a lot more rural and I never really lived in an environment like that. Being up in New York, how people and the pace is a lot different than California.”

RM: Looking down the road, would you consider going back to California?

CA: “I’m not sure. I don’t know what opportunities would be out there for me or what I would have in New York. At the moment, I’m not entirely sure what I want to do, but it would be nice.”

RM: What are plans or career goals after college?

CA: “Right now, I’m double majoring in accounting and marketing. I’m going to try to get my CPA exam as soon as I get out of college. I’m going to get my CPA license probably in the state of New York then I will try to go to graduate school, but I’m not sure if I will go to Iona or somewhere else.”

Growing up, most kids tend to have a dream job. That job could be becoming a professional athlete, an astronaut or even an author. That dream may sounded crazy to most, but it kept a kid’s imagination going. When Archibald was growing up, she dreamed about being in the spotlight.

RM: Did you ever had a dream job growing up?

CA: “My dream job was to be a movie star, but that’s really not where I’m heading in life. So it will stay a dream job.”

RM: What made you think about becoming an actress?

CA: “When you are a kid, you feel like ‘Oh, I want to be a superstar and I want everyone to like me and I wanted to wear the pretty outfits.’ That’s literally what it was. There’s always hope, you never know.”

The biggest thing a team needs to have is chemistry. It does not matter what sport it is, a player’s relationship with their teammates and coaches plays an important factor. Archibald has developed a close relationship with her teammates over the years.

Last season, the Gaels had to make a major adjustment when they welcomed head coach Patric Santiago. However, the bond with Santiago and the rest of the coaching staff has grown as Santiago is in his second year with Iona.

RM: How would you describe your relationship with your teammates and coaching staff?

CA: “I must say our team is one of the closest teams I have ever been on. We love each other very much and we care about each other very much. Our bond is close to previous teams I have been on. With the coaches, our communication has been able to grow a lot more. Last year was a new year for everyone and everyone was trying to figure each other out. I think the relationship we built with coach Patric and coach Nick, and having Morgan bring a younger face to the coaching staff makes it a lot more comfortable and easy going, especially if we have a issue we want to address with them.”

It is tough being a student-athlete when you think about it. You got to go to practice, play in games and travel across the country, while doing your schoolwork and staying on top in all of your classes.

Archibald has spent many late nights with her teammates doing homework and prepare for workouts in the morning. Archibald had to learn how to manage her time and making sacrifices. Archibald looks back at everything she has done at Iona and believes her hard work is worth something.

RM: As a student-athlete, how do you manage practice, going to games, traveling and doing your schoolwork and studying for exams?

CA: “I would be lying if I say it wasn’t difficult because it definitely is. You learn how to be extremely organized and prioritize what is important. Maybe going out to dinner one night isn’t necessary compared to studying for the exam you know you are going to have, but you don’t have much time to prepare for it because you have a game coming up.

With our practice schedule changing to night time, we don’t have that extra couple of hours at night to study. So my roommates and I would be up to midnight studying then getting up the next morning going to weights. We have to make sure we get done what we have to get done. It’s a struggle, but it’s worth it completely. It’s prepared me for the real world and I wouldn’t take it back.”

RM: What have you learned about Iona on and off the volleyball court?

CA: “Iona does not have the big party [life] and our Greek life isn’t super big. That’s not what our school is about. The social scene isn’t as intense as other colleges, but I appreciate that because it helps me focus on what I need to focus on.

There is still a lot of things to do. Everyone knows we have a thirty minute train ride into New York City if you get bored. It’s not like we are in a remote location. We have the options and resources. It just comes down to having time to do it. Even though it’s not necessarily hip-hop and happening every night, it’s still a nice balance and there are a lot of things you can get involved in.”