Lopes thrive in their sports, hold high aspirations
By: Julie Laugel and Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
After recently getting back into competition, Grand Canyon University student-athletes are finally able to showcase their talents and hard work.
Amongst these athletes are Angie Castaneda and Josh Molloy, who have been chosen as the February GCU Club Sports Student Athletes of the month. On top of earning an all-tournament award and bowling a near-perfect score in their first matches back, both athletes display leadership and have high ambitions for both their club sports experiences and long-term careers.
Angie Castaneda – Women’s Club Volleyball
National championship winner. Conference championship winner. Multiple MVP and All-Tournament awards. Student leader.
Lopes’ senior Angie Castaneda has officially made her mark with GCU Women’s Club Volleyball.
“She’s got a huge IQ of volleyball,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Kristine Naber. “She came in as a freshman, took the libero spot and has always held that spot throughout her four years here. She shows leadership on the court, is calm and consistent, comes to play every day, and comes to work hard and get better. You have a lot of confidence when she is on the court.”
Castaneda helped GCU earn their first-ever National Collegiate Volleyball Federation win in 2019 as well as multiple Mountain West Volleyball Conference titles, and earned an all-tournament award in the Lopes’ most recent Southern California Collegiate Volleyball League Tournament.
Along with serving as the Lopes’ four-year libero, Castaneda has also been a student leader on the team in her last two years.
“Being a part of the Club Volleyball team has made me feel more involved with GCU,” said Castaneda. “These girls are my family when life gets hard and have shaped me into being a leader and a person that has open arms for anyone that needs to talk or just to have someone to trust.”
“She is loyal and responsible, which are the things you look for in someone who is a direct extension of the coaching staff,” said Naber. “She has all of the characteristics that you look for.”
A big part of Castaneda’s inspiration in volleyball, her career, and social life has come from her mother.
“She has always pushed me to have a successful career and become my own independent person, to be able to love myself, and care for family like no other,” said Castaneda.
Castaneda maintains a 3.8 GPA at Grand Canyon University, working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Studies. After graduating in April, she plans to work towards a career in law enforcement as a K-9 officer.
Josh Molloy – Club Bowling
With a plethora of goals for himself, Grand Canyon University Bowling’s Josh Molloy holds aspirations to become a professional bowler.
“My realistic goal, after college, is be in charge of building houses,” said Molloy. “However, my dream goal is to compete on the Professional Bowlers’ Association Tour.”
Molloy first started bowling when he was five years old. The sport was something he and his father could do together while avoiding the Arizona heat. Molloy joined his first bowling league two years later.
His biggest influence within bowling and in life is his late grandmother. After being in a coma for three months and doctors saying she may never walk or talk again, Molloy’s grandmother was able to join Josh’s bowling league. According to Molloy, when she wasn’t yelling at the pins to fall, she was always smiling and laughing.
“She will always be the one person I look up to,” said Molloy. “She showed me that you can survive anything – no matter how bad it is.”
After Molloy posted a near-perfect game in GCU’s first tournament of the year, the Lopes took home second place with Molloy winning individual honors. A Club Bowling All-American Second Team honoree last year, Molloy aims to improve on both marks.
“Next season, I am hoping to earn first team honors,” said Molloy. “I want to bowl well consistently and help lead the team to nationals.”
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