By: Ani Kirakosyan
Determination, leadership, and passion are all characteristics of a great athlete—all qualities Elizabeth Dardov (’12) possesses.
Since her freshman year, Dardov has worked her way through many struggles and pain to becoming the captain of the girls’ varsity volleyball team.
“I feel she is being rewarded for her hard work,” parent Gina Dardov said.
Dardov initially planned on trying out for the water polo team because she already knew how to swim, but “randomly” decided to give volleyball a try and ended up liking it “so much that I didn’t even want to go to the water polo tryouts anymore.”
“I was also pushing her towards swimming,” Gina Dardov said. “But once she started volleyball she became so attached.”
“I can’t choose what I love about volleyball the most,” Dardov said. “It’s a mentally challenging and skill-oriented sport.”
Dardov injured her ankle several times during her sophomore year, causing concern over how the injuries would affect her jumping. However, she was able to continue working towards her goal on overcoming her injuries, continue playing volleyball, and becoming captain of the team.
“She keeps us up when we’re down,” teammate Shania Barrett (’13) said. “She is an inspiration to all of us.”
Although her performance has been “rocky” due to her injuries, coach Charles Min appreciates her talent and diligence. Min suggested Dardov, in her sophomore year, to join Formula One, a team outside of school that plays from February to June. Dardov played as an outside hitter and passer for a season and a half, and is currently playing the same positions on the school team.
Besides playing at Formula One, Dardov has worked as a lifeguard at the Burbank YMCA for the past three years.
Not only does Dardov juggle work and volleyball, she is also a four-year member and president of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) club.
“There are two things that stand out in Elizabeth ,” AVID teacher Rae Etta Emmett said. “She is independent and she always gets it done.”
Dardov, at the beginning of her volleyball career, planned on playing throughout college, but is currently undetermined, as she wants to pursue a career in the medical field as a doctor or nurse, helping people in third-world countries.