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tBBC Ten Questions With Mary Ormsby

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Ten Questions With Mary Ormsby
    jcollingsworth
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    I am thrilled to pass onto all of our loyal readers here at tBBC and Buckeye Nation this week’s participant for Ten Questions. Mary Ormsby is a star. A setter on The Ohio State University’s Women’s Volleyball Team from 1977 to 1980, Mary’s contributions were essential in two visits to the National Championship in this time frame. As a member of the Canadian National Team she too would display her prowess on the world stage. Mary is a member of The Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame. I am proud to share with you our brief conversation.

    tBBC:


    As a Canadian what inspired you to attend The Ohio State University?

    ORMSBY:

    A lucky break from a kind Buckeye! Former OSU men’s coach Doug Beal was working at a summer volleyball camp I attended in northern Ontario in the mid-1970s. He wrote a very nice skills summary in my camper’s “report card” which I cherished, even though I was too shy to speak to him. In 1976, I made Canada’s junior national team and as part of our summer training experience, we worked as ushers at the Montreal Olympics in the volleyball venue. Well, who but Doug Beal comes strolling into my section of the grandstand one day to watch matches! I introduced myself, he remembered me and immediately asked what my future plans were. Remember, I’m 16 and had given my future zero thought but for some reason I stammered I was hoping for a volleyball scholarship. He said “Good,” took my phone number and asked the women’s coach at the time, Sue Collins, to contact me. She did. I was a freshman in the fall of 1977.

    tBBC:


    Back at Senator O’Connor High School did you ever imagine the journey you were about to undertake?

    ORMSBY:

    The NCAA was a spectacular universe of academics and athletics that I watched from afar when I was growing up, never dreaming I could be part of it. I still had to pinch myself when I was at OSU. I’d gone from a small high school in Toronto to this huge university where I needed a detailed map to find campus buildings. The best four years of my life.

    tBBC:


    You were named to the All-Big Ten Team in 1980, a scholar-athlete in ’78 & ’79. You made The Canadian National Team in 1979. Is there any special honor you are most proud of?

    ORMSBY:

    I am actually most proud of our team making it to the national championship twice during my four years there. Sue Collins had recruited a very strong freshman class, including DiAnn Gorham and Kim Cline who was key to that success. Karen Alsbrooks was a year ahead of us and a spectacular middle player. I loved setting Karen – my favourite target!

    tBBC:


    This seems like a rather common question – but I find it to be quite important, primarily because there just may be a young girl out there reading your response that will find a kinship with what you say – how did volleyball, competitively speaking, come into your life?

    ORMSBY:

    It was all due to my grade school teachers and principle. I ran track competitively in grade school then switched over to volleyball seriously in the 8th grade. We had a pretty good team. My grade school principal, Gerry Levert, turned our school team into a club team. We traveled around the province playing older kids with Mr. Levert and other teachers coaching us on their own time. We stayed together for a couple of years, winning quite a bit, improving, attending skills clinics and ultimately, I was invited to national team tryouts. I was very fortunate.

    tBBC:


    I feel every student at The Ohio State University has that special spot where they yearn for either quiet time, or even positive interaction. Did you have such a spot – and if so where was it?

    ORMSBY:

    Mirror Lake. Without fail!

    tBBC:


    In 1977, your Freshmen Year, the Buckeyes won the Big 10 Tournament … how special was it – being your first year?

    ORMSBY:

    I had just competed with the Canadian team at the world junior championship in Brazil (no medal, though!) and arrived at OSU about a week after classes started. I missed training camp, didn’t know anyone except Sue Collins (whom I’d met once) and was terrified about not fitting in. The girls were great, though; they were warm and welcoming, which made the Big 10 victory really sweet as the season marched on.

    tBBC:


    Who is your favorite Ohio State athlete of all-time – it can be anyone from any era?

    ORMSBY:

    Jesse Owens. I looked at his bronzed spikes in a display case at St. John Arena pretty much every day we played or practiced. In a tiny way, it made me feel close to his incredible life.

    tBBC:


    What were your strongest contributions on the court – is it the same as what you enjoy the most of the game?

    ORMSBY:

    I liked to run the offence. As a setter, it was up to me to decide each offensive play, with outlet options. My greatest enjoyment of the game was two-fold: Watching hitters bury the ball off a strong set and seeing great defence on our side if the ball was blocked.

    tBBC:


    The Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame inducted you in 1995 … please share that moment with us?

    ORMSBY:

    My parents, my husband and our first child (we now have four kids) came down for all the fun. We also flew in former coach Sue Collins, who was then at George Mason University; she was integral to my life as an athlete, a student and a person. I owe her so much. We also got to stand on the football field at halftime and were introduced to the crowd. Part of that ’95 class: Kelly McCormick; Butch Reynolds, Galen Cisco and Tom Cousineau. Awesome weekend.

    tBBC:


    Please tell your fellow Buckeyes what you love about The Ohio State University and what it means to you to be a Buckeye?

    ORMSBY:

    I always felt special when I was at The Ohio State University and by that, I mean I felt challenged every day on the court or in class. Some days were tough, I cannot lie (yes, that meant tears and a few botched class assignments!!) but the rest of the time was a joy. Attending OSU was a gift. I knew that, my family knew that. To be welcomed in another country was, and remains, a treasured part of my life, along with the dear friends I made. To me, being a Buckeye is not a temporary designation; it is a life-long responsibility to challenge yourself every day in order to make a positive impact – big or small – on your world.

    Thank you Mary for answering my questions. The time that you set aside for me was generous and is appreciated. I feel it is both kind and unselfish of sports stars who allow a brief view into their thoughts and memories for their fans. I know that our contact, though short, was positive and welcoming. I hope that you stay in contact with us here at tBBC – as evidence shows Buckeye Nation loves Women’s Volleyball and their stars. I am convinced that your fans loved hearing from you and will want to know what you’re up to.

    The post Ten Questions With Mary Ormsby appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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