If volleyball were a one-person sport, CSUN outside hitter Angela Hupp would be the team to beat. In fact, Hupp leads the Matadors (or is one of three leaders) in almost every statistical category for the 2009 season. Hupp leads in kills, assists, digs, blocks, total points scored. The 6-foot-1 senior does it all.
“(The coaches) ask Angela to do a lot,” head coach Jeff Stork said. “We ask her to pass every ball, set every ball, hit every ball. To be a leader.”
It’s no surprise that Hupp, a four-year starter, has steadily become the backbone of the team. Since she came to Northridge as a freshman in 2006, straight out of Paraclete High School in Lancaster Calif., Hupp has played in 105 matches (402 sets).
Hupp has since embraced her role as the leader.
“It’s great that someone like that can be our team’s anchor,” said middle blocker Lynda Morales, who also joined the team as a 2006 freshman. “We can rely on her to win the game.”
“It’s definitely an honor to be that person,” Hupp said. “I don’t take it lightly. It makes me work that much harder for my teammates rather than myself.”
And work hard she has. Even with the Matadors’ current, unimpressive 6-14 overall record (2-5 in the Big West Conference), Hupp’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Hupp leads CSUN in kills (256), total points (307.5), and is tied for second in aces (16). She is also listed third for digs with 179 and ranks second in assists with 168.
Hupp has been playing volleyball since she was in the fifth grade. Prior to that, she never really had any interest in the sport.
When her family moved from Acton, Calif. to Arizona because her father was professionally relocated, Hupp’s mom enrolled her and her younger brother in a summer camp to help them make friends.
It was then that Hupp was approached to try out for a volleyball team. Over the next 11 years, her life revolved around the sport she eventually came to appreciate and love. But Hupp wasn’t always the big dog on the team. In fact, there was a time when she thought about quitting altogether.
As a sophomore on the varsity team at Paraclete, Hupp remembers one day just breaking under the pressure of the sport and being one of the youngest players on the team.
“I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to do this,?’” she said. “It all came in one big wave and I was ready to quit … but no, I went back to practice the next day and had a new appreciation for the game.”
The next weeks will see the closing of Hupp’s outstanding collegiate career, something she is not looking forward to.
“I’ve always had something to look forward to, but this is the first time I don’t have a set plan, a team, or a coach to turn to,” Hupp said.
Women’s volleyball has no professional American league. The only options for Hupp to continue playing are: To play overseas, try beach volleyball, or make it into Team USA. All are very competitive options.However, for Hupp, as long she is in contact with a volleyball, she doesn’t really mind what medium she’s in. Her biggest ambition is to take everything she has learned over the last 11 years, especially the four at Northridge, and eventually coach in college.
With that career still a few years away, Hupp doesn’t mind just heading down to the beach to play. One thing that she is sure of: volleyball will always be a part of her life, and maybe, one day, even her kids’ life, she said.