October 18, 2016

Digging in with Volleyball Senior Cleaya Antes

For four years, Cleaya Antes has been a fixture on NDMU’s volleyball court. Next month she will play her last collegiate volleyball game; in May she will graduate from the Women’s College. We thought it was a great time to highlight this all-star MVP!

In 2013, Antes became the program’s first-ever Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Rookie of the Year! In 2014, she received the Outstanding Underclass Athlete award from the NDMU Athletics Department and was named to the CSAC Second Team All-Conference. She holds NDMU’s record for the number of digs in a game, is a member of the School’s honor board, and was elected class of 2017 President.

As a Southern California native, NDMU may seem like a far-away choice for Antes, but she says it was the familiarity that students and teachers have with one another, and the strong balance between athletics and education that brought her to our campus. The passion and enthusiasm that the nursing professors have in and out of the classroom only solidified her interest and decision to pursue a degree in nursing.

She says the personal interaction was very important, “I wanted my teachers to know who I am. I wanted my teachers to be available to me when I needed help. I also really enjoy the small school aspect. I basically know all of my classmates' names. It has made it easier for Notre Dame to be my home away from home.”

The support of her family, who’s nearly 3,000 miles away has never wavered. As she begins to reflect on the past four years and what NDMU as a whole has meant to her, she says, “I never realized how much of a support system my parents were for me until I went to college. They have definitely encouraged me the whole way through and listened every time I needed to talk about something. They have really pushed me to be a well-rounded and involved person. The same goes for my grandparents. I am really thankful for my whole family.”

While her family helped get her to this point, she also credits her coaches, “I love the coaching staff. They are very encouraging and they push players to practice outside of their comfort zone.”

With her undergraduate experience at NDMU winding down, Cleaya says Maryland will become home. She plans on staying in Baltimore after graduation and putting her degree to use as a critical care nurse. Eventually, she would like to continue her education. While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know Notre Dame will always be part of Cleaya’s life!