Danao uses communication as tool to success
Setter plays big part on volleyball squad
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 15:10
Communication plays a big role in the world of volleyball and also for Comet setter Efaraima Danao.
The Contra Costa College sophomore has been able to use her communication skills to help her Contra Costa College squad both on and off the court.
“Effie always steps up to the plate as a leader for this team and keeps our heads up during games,” sophomore middle blocker Elvi Figueroa said. “She’s definitely a big part of this team.”
Several Comet players agreed that Danao is the vocal leader of the team as she continues to play hard despite the team’s struggles in some games.
“She brings a vocal (presence) on the floor which is what we need,” Comet coach Zachary Shrieve said. “She enjoys playing the game and being on this team.”
One of the things Danao has done this season is convert from her natural middle blocker position to setter.
“(Changing positions) was a test for her because she was so used to playing middle blocker,” Comet outside hitter Jazmine Mendoza said. “Each game she has improved and she’s really getting good at setting.”
“Effie has done well adjusting to her new position as she will practice individually with coach Shrieve to work on her setting,” she said. “She has stepped up to be a consistent setter and is always asking the team what she can do to improve her sets.”
Danao said her position change is still something she is trying to get used to.
“The transition has been difficult. I prefer hitting and blocking,” she said. “My teammates have been able to help me though.”
So far this season the Comets are 3-13 overall, 3-4 in the Bay Valley Conference.
While the team has struggled in some games, Danao has been able to help the squad improve from last season’s 1-20 overall record.
“I try to help the team as much as I can,” Danao said. “Whether I’m a captain or not, I am always vocal on the court.”
Being vocal is nothing new for the 23-year-old San Jose product, who was born in Hawaii. She was introduced to volleyball by playing recreationally as a youth for her church. Danao began playing competitive volleyball at Gunderson High School in San Jose and continued when she transferred to Kennedy High School.
After graduating from Kennedy in 2007, Danao took a year off from playing volleyball to help coach her alma mater’s varsity volleyball team in 2007-08.
“Coaching was fun, but it was hard to just watch the team play,” Danao said. “Often times I just wanted to jump in the game and play.”
In spite of the fact she is the youngest of her 10 siblings, Danao said that she has to take care of her younger nieces and nephews.
“Being the youngest kind of sucks because the family counts on you to do a lot of chores and baby-sit,” Danao said. “It’s different being a leader on the volleyball team than teaching my nieces and nephews because my teammates will listen to me, while the kids won’t.”
When not playing volleyball or hanging out with her teammates, Danao works in Emeryville at the Nike Store, goes to church in Oakland and continues to baby-sit her nieces and nephews.
“She has stepped up a lot for us this season despite working and going to classes,” Figueroa said.
Shrieve described Danao as a friendly person who is always willing to offer a helping hand.
“It’s been good coaching Effie. There have been fun moments during practices and games,” Shrieve said. “She’s growing as a person.”