Mercury rises out of trials to lead

Mercury Simonian is a senior psychology major and setter on the ULV volleyball team. Off the court, she finds watching a good play the perfect way to escape from the stress of everyday life. "I used to love watching the one-act plays students did at the University of Iowa," she said. "The Phantom of the Opera" is one of her favorite Broadway productions. Simonian is in her second year at La Verne after transferring from the University of Iowa, where she was a setter for the women's volleyball team. / photo by Christie Reed
Mercury Simonian is a senior psychology major and setter on the ULV volleyball team. Off the court, she finds watching a good play the perfect way to escape from the stress of everyday life. “I used to love watching the one-act plays students did at the University of Iowa,” she said. “The Phantom of the Opera” is one of her favorite Broadway productions. Simonian is in her second year at La Verne after transferring from the University of Iowa, where she was a setter for the women’s volleyball team. / photo by Christie Reed

by Alicia Gibson
Staff Writer

According to Webster’s Dictionary, Mercury is, “a Roman god of commerce, eloquence, travel, cunning, and theft who serves as a messenger to the other gods.”

Maybe that is one reason that Carrie Simonian’s mother changed her daughter’s name to Mercury. Two years ago, Simonian went through many trials and tribulations causing her to change a life plan she had since eighth grade, including volleyball and changing her focus of study.

“My mom gave me the name, because it defines the woman that I became through all of my trials and tribulations,” said Simonian.

Simonian is extremely into her ancestry. She is Armenian, French and American Indian. The Cherokee tribe is the culture she chooses to base her lifestyle on. Simonian is very proud of her culture.

Mercury was born on Nov. 28, 1975 and is from Claremont. She has one sister, Misty, who she is very good friends with. The two of them share an apartment together in La Verne with their pet bird Burracho. Simonian says she is close to her family, and missed them a great deal when she accepted an academic scholarship to the University of Iowa.

Iowa is a Division I NCAA school and Mercury played volleyball there, but because her family was so far away she became lonely and missed them a great deal. That was when she decided to transfer to the University of La Verne.

“I chose La Verne because it was close to home. I felt comfortable with the coaching staff,” said Simonian. “The smaller class size and academic aspect has been very pleasing.”

Simonian is a 21-year-old senior psychology major, who is the starting setter for the women’s volleyball team. She decided to be a setter because of her height and the fact her father taught her when she was 10. He knew she could take on the leadership role that a setter must endure.

“She is a very motivating leader who is always willing to put in positive critique to make the team better,” said Allison Moore, sophomore middle blocker.

“She is an intense competitor and she has brought a great deal of leadership to our team. She has not only the respect of the coaches and her teammates, but also of her opponents,” said Jim Paschal, head women’s volleyball coach.

Simonian began her volleyball career when she was 9 years old and played competitively on club teams when she was 12. She has grown up learning and loving the sport.

“Having grown up around volleyball, her knowledge and experience are key assets to this team,” said Don Flora, assistant women’s volleyball coach. “She brings a little bit of energy that the team needs.”

She also played soccer until her freshman year in high school, but decided she needed to choose one or the other. She chose volleyball. Her volleyball mentor is a 5’3″ setter from Cal State Long Beach named Sharie Sanders.

“She has a great work ethic,” said Simonian.

Like Sharie Sanders, Mercury also has a good work ethic, and works hard at everything she does, school, volleyball and life.

“Mercury has the ability to challenge people to raise their level of intensity,” said Flora.

“Not only is she a good volleyball player, she is very intense and involved,” said Paschal.

Simonian’s goals for this year are to maintain her health and finish the season strong. She wants to be stronger than last year and work on the details of the game. Her goal for the team is to go one step further than last year. “We can compete with the top 10 schools,” said Simonian.

Simonian currently holds 12 units and works in the athletic office. She plans to graduate in May.

Simonian then wants to continue her schooling by going on to graduate work. Sports psychology and dealing with the mental aspects of sports is her forté. She would also love to coach volleyball at the Division I level.

“My goal is to work up to that,” said Simonian. Her dream coaching job would be at Penn State. “I would love to work with that program,” she said.

Simonian has a love for life and the outdoors. She enjoys hiking and the arts. Simonian would love to be a part of some type of performing art. “A life goal is to be in one play before I die,” said Simonian.

“She brings humor and diversity in a sense that she gets excited about a variety of things in life,” said Paschal. “She is a joy to have around.”

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