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Senior Tiffany Gaerke
Senior Tiffany Gaerke
Published by UDBrian
Senior Tiffany Gaerke

DAYTON (OH) -- "Tiff is totally about the team" said one of her team mates.

What comes to mind when you think of Tiffany Gaerke? I think of someone with a ton of athletic ability who always seemed to make the best of any situation. If she was starting she enjoyed it but you saw the same big smile if she was coming off the bench. When she was off the court she watched every point as intensely as the biggest fan in the building. She has a ton of athletic talent and hits the ball harder than anyone on the team.

Here is what Coach Sheffield had to say about Tiffany:

Enthusiastic, unselfish, trusting. "Such a positive person to be around. Her energy and enthusiasm fires me up every single day!"

What characteristics of Tiffany come to mind with her current and former team mates?

Missed wild jump serves in practices
Well rounded, fun to be around
Always energetic and happy
Will always play for the team
Packs eggs
A heart breaker for sure
Totally a farm girl
All about the team
Works extremely hard
Very strong bench press
Very family oriented
Her family raises 24,000 turkeys

When asked what her UD volleyball experience has meant to her on and off the court Tiffany said:

"Competing here at the University of Dayton has definitely been an unforgettable experience. God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity to play the sport that I love surrounding me with great friends/teamates and coaches, and I am extremely greatful!"

When asked how she has changed since arriving at UD:

"Dayton has provided me with countless opportunities on and off the court allowing me to grow as an individual shaping me to the person that I am today. I couldn't have asked for a better four years!"

Tiffany's parents Rob & Alice were kind enough to answer a couple of questions concerning Tiffany's stay at UD:

Question 1: Can you tell me what going to UD has meant to your daughter and how has she grown in that time?

"Having the privilege to attend the University of Dayton has truly been a blessing to our daughter. She has received an exceptional education from a distinguished university. Her coaches and teachers have helped her to grow in many ways, they encouraged her to achieve her best both athletically and academically. When you talk to her about her college experience, you can feel a sense of pride in her voice. She loves the atmosphere of the campus, the friendships that she has made and I think she even loves the early morning workouts (well maybe that is pushing it a little). Tiffany has grown to become a remarkable young lady, we are very proud of her."

"During her years at Dayton She has experienced tremendous highs by being part of a winning team that has made it to the second round of the NCAA. But she has also had to face an awful tragedy, at the loss of her teammate, Kacie. Our thoughts and prayers still go out to Lori and Ali. Sadly this was one of her biggest life lessons, while at the university. To be grateful for your family, and friends and to recognize how fragile life is and not to take it for granted, but to realize it for the blessing it is. These experiences have helped Tiffany understand the importance of faith and reliance in God, during good times and bad."

Question 2) What would you tell a parent who's daughter is considering playing for UD?

"We would encourage anyone who has the chance to play a sport for the University of Dayton to seize it. Playing volleyball for the Dayton Flyers has been a wonderful experience for our daughter. It is a huge commitment, but well worth it. Tiffany has met many wonderful people and has experienced so many opportunities, which would have never come her way if she had not played volleyball. The travel and friendships that she has encountered have been immeasurable. We thank the coaching staff and administration for helping make this an exciting and insightful experience. We thank God for the talents that He has given her, that has made this opportunity possible. "

It has been a pleasure to watch Tiffany play for UD. Her big smile and enthusiasm for her team mates will be missed. I expect her to be successful at anything she takes on in the future.
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By NovaFlyer on 11-18-2010, 10:08 PM
This is what college athletic is all about. We have enjoyed UD volleyball since Christy Utnage days and barely miss a game. These kids deserve our support for the efforts and commitment they make. One of the best things about "following" a team is a chance to watch the changes from freshman to senior.
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