Isaiah Canales, from Norwalk, California, is a junior at Greenville University. He is currently starting at middle blocker for the Greenville Panther men’s volleyball team. At an early age, Canales never really envisioned himself as a volleyball player; he was more into football and baseball until he eventually got involved in volleyball entering high school. Once Canales began to play volleyball, he fell in love with the game right away and knew he wanted to take it to the next level.
Canales is a three-year starter and still has another season ahead of him. The Greenville Panther’s volleyball team is currently 4-4. Based on previous years, Canales feels like they are already playing more as a team with their new head coach in charge. One of Canales’ biggest accomplishments in his time here at Greenville University was being able to gain a starting spot in his first game as a Panther. However, Canales shared that being a starter for the Panthers doesn’t fully satisfy him. He stated, “I’m working hard in the gym every day in hopes of becoming one of the top players in our conference.” He wants to be a player that is outstanding from the rest; a player that you can watch and clearly see how his work put in to be one of the best at doing what he does has paid off.
Being at Greenville University has helped Canales grow in many ways. Since Greenville is such a small town, with just a little over 6,700 people, it doesn’t tend to give students much to worry about outside of school and athletics. For Canales, being in such a small town with not a whole lot of things to do allows him to stay focused on school and volleyball. Being a student at Greenville has also helped Canales grow in his relationship with the Lord and has really added a Christian aspect into his life that he is very thankful for.
Canales has been able to learn a great amount from playing the game of volleyball. He has learned that playing volleyball takes a lot of teamwork and being able to create relationships with one another is very important in helping any team play well together. Being able to communicate and understand another person is a skill that Canales has developed from playing volleyball over the years. Volleyball for him is more than just a game. He has learned that the game is much more than just about yourself. Playing for God and his family gives him the drive to remain humble every day to do what he loves. Playing volleyball is one of the best things to happen to him in his life, and he will never regret the first day he was introduced to such a great game because, without it, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
Media by Gavin Jordan.