North Texas Daily

Volleyball’s Sh’Diamond Holly brings ‘big personality’ to Denton

Volleyball’s Sh’Diamond Holly brings ‘big personality’ to Denton

Volleyball’s Sh’Diamond Holly brings ‘big personality’ to Denton
September 30
12:00 2022

In her first season at North Texas, junior blocker Sh’Diamond Holly is making a difference on the court. 

Holly’s 74 blocks on the year are first on the team, while she also ranks top three in kills with 119.

Prior to entering the transfer portal, Holly attended the University of New Orleans. Holly holds the blocks-per-game record for the Privateers and was seventh in career total blocks at the university. In 2021, she made Second Team All-Southland and was third in hits in the Southland Conference.

Holly made the decision to enter the portal on Sept. 15, 2021 with the hopes of discovering a school with a competitive culture.

“I decided I wanted to enter the portal soon because of the way our team was going,” Holly said. “I felt like if I transferred, I’d get more exposure for myself — I felt like I was limiting myself.”

More than 10 schools showed interest in adding Holly to their roster. After having conversations with schools, her list narrowed to Houston Christian University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Youngstown State University, Eastern Michigan University and North Texas.

Head coach Kristee Porter and assistant coach Daniel Salinas were familiar with Holly. In her time at McNeese State University, a Southland conference-mate of the University of New Orleans, Porter coached against Holly’s squad.

“I was familiar with [Holly] in my time in the Southland Conference […] they were so athletic and so physical at the net [and] you couldn’t help but notice her,” Porter said. “Offensively she is a beast and very smooth and quick pin-to-pin on the block. Defensively she was just very well-rounded and a physical player.”

The Mean Green stood out to Holly because of the team’s spot in a bigger and more competitive conference. On various phone calls with the staff, Holly said Salinas was honest with her and clear on the goals and culture they wanted to build within the team, which made the staff more appealing when compared to others.

“[North Texas] stood out the most simply because of course, it is in Texas and just hearing about [setting] records and [having] the opportunity to win,” Holly said. “Other schools, I feel like didn’t have that much opportunity. They were more looking to build instead of already having that environment I could [come and] adjust to.”

Coming into a bigger school, Holly was nervous that her “big personality” would not be accepted or she would not fit in with the team. Holly said having strong connections in the locker room and teammates who feel comfortable made a difference in her time with the Mean Green. 

Porter described her as a supportive athlete who celebrates more for her teammates than for herself. Porter also said Holly is a very physical player capable of  “doing a lot of things.”

With North Texas in the heat of conference play, senior defensive specialist Aleeyah Galdeira said she thinks Holly has the potential to reach her goals. 

“She’s a great teammate all around […] I think she competes well when it comes to game time,” Galdeira said. “I know some of her goals are to be a top middle hitter in the conference [and] top blocker in the conference — I think that she is fully capable of doing it.”

Featured Image: University of North Texas junior Sh’Diamond Holly walks back to her position during practice at the North Texas Volleyball Center on Sept. 22, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

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Alexia Lopez

Alexia Lopez

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