Midtown: Sports

Midtown Raleigh News Athlete of the Week. Nov. 15: Taylor Kurosad of Cardinal Gibbons volleyball

Senior DS Taylor Kurosad made big contributions in Cardinal Gibbons’ recent 4A volleyball championship. She had tore her ACL earlier this year.
Senior DS Taylor Kurosad made big contributions in Cardinal Gibbons’ recent 4A volleyball championship. She had tore her ACL earlier this year. jmorgan@newsobserver.com

Cardinal Gibbons hosted a Signing Day ceremony Wednesday, and Taylor Kurosad could have been one of several Crusaders furthering her athletic career in college.

A pair of ACL injuries costs the senior defensive specialist several volleyball scholarship offers, including one from Appalachian State.

But Kurosad said she couldn’t be happier for her teammates who were signing.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “They’re all my best friends, and I’ll probably cry as I watch them all sign. It’s so exciting.”

That’s the attitude she had playing defense Nov. 7 in Gibbons’ latest volleyball championship victory.

The Crusaders went 20-3 to claim their first N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A title – its seventh in a row. It was their first season playing in the higher classification.

From off the bench, Kurosad, who had to wear a knee brace while playing, contributed eight digs against Greensboro Northwest Guilford.

“It took a while to get comfortable on the court, but I just knew I had to go out there and work as hard as I could,” Kurosad said.

After the title match, her coach Logan Barber said it would have been easy for her to quit once she tore her ACL a second time earlier this year. But the 5-foot-3 Kurosad gave it her all during her last volleyball season at Gibbons.

“The second time is definitely harder, but I knew I wanted to play,” she said. “I pushed as hard as I could in rehab. It was an easier transition to have the support of my coaches and my teammates to get back on the court. I knew I had their trust … when I got back.”

After repeating a crucial injury, Kurosad’s focus shifted. This was the first year she didn’t play year-round since she started with volleyball at the age of 9.

“I lost a few scholarships along the way because of injuries. That was a bummer, and that’s why I decided to go away from playing in college,” said an upbeat Kurosad. “I’ve always wanted to, but after the second ACL, I went away from it. I figured I didn’t want to get injured again, and I lost scholarships, so maybe I should focus on other parts of my life.”

She plans to study biology in college.

Kurosad played in 24 sets her senior season, while many of the starters tallied 62 sets played on the year.

She recorded just 22 digs this season, but playing in a tradition-rich volleyball program made every second worth it.

“I’m so honored to be part of the legacy here,” said Kurosad, who moved up to varsity as a sophomore at Gibbons. “You have to earn your spot on the court, so sophomore year, I didn’t play. Finally, I earned my spot last year and this year. It’s just an honor, I’d say.”

Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan

About Kurosad

Age: 17

Hometown: Born in Berkeley, Calif.

School: Cardinal Gibbons

Sport/Position: Volleyball/Defensive Specialist

Fun fact: She volunteers with charity events.