Aurora Davis, the second hurdle of the volleyball team at Erie Community College, has achieved both academic and athletic success since coming from Italy in January 2020. Division III Player of the Year.
Davis grew up in Treviso, a city in northeastern Italy about 40 minutes from Venice. He began his volleyball career at the age of 9, playing for his hometown club, and said he quickly fell in love with the sport. However, Davis explained that there are differences between volleyball in Italy compared to volleyball in the United States. For starters, “There’s nothing like playing in school or college. In fact, there are only club teams, ”he said. It is said that there is no age limit for club groups, so there are opportunities for people to continue playing as long as they want.
“People [in Italy] until you play. There are mothers on the club teams and everyone can play as long as they love, which is really great, ”he said.
Davis said that when he improved as an athlete and when he showed a lot of passion for the sport, his club coach allowed him to play with both his age team and a higher level club team. “When I was there, I was lucky because the coach was great and he saw a lot of opportunities in me, so he allowed me to play with two different teams at the same time,” Davis said.
Although Davis spent his entire childhood in Italy, he visited Buffalo several times because his father’s family lived here. In fact, she spent her high school years in Cleveland Hill in Chektova before returning to Italy for her senior year.
While he was living in Italy, his brother was studying at Damian College and he recommended that he consider going to college within the Buffalo community. “He used to play basketball, so he just suggested why not come to college here. We’ve lived in Italy for so long and wondered why not try here because we have the opportunity, ”Davis said.
Davis decided to enroll in the ECC because he said it was an affordable option that would meet his educational needs. Similarly, because he did not know exactly which career path he wanted to pursue, the ECC offered general options that would be more beneficial to him in the future.
“I thought I should start from the ECC because it’s cheap and it’s just a good place to start,” she said. He said his time at the ECC was still very pleasant and he is thankful that he was given the opportunity to join the volleyball team, which helped him connect with new people.
“My year and a half has been very good in the ECC now. I was happy. I met a lot of people, thankfully through volleyball, because otherwise it would have been really hard because the classes weren’t in person, ”Davis said.
Since Davis was not affiliated with the high school team, he personally turned to the ECC volleyball coach in hopes of finding a place on the team. “I sent an e-mail to coach Craig and sent him a video with the kits about it when I was playing in Italy because he didn’t know about my existence otherwise. I didn’t get hired like everyone else, but he emailed me and it all started there, ”Davis said.
He said his experience with the team was incredible and he was very proud of their performance this season, especially given the changes that the Covid-19 pandemic has made. “The team did a great job, we had some great achievements. We won the Zone III Women’s Volleyball Championship, which was really exciting because it was the ECC’s first victory since 1982, ”Davis said.
Davis also had a very successful season, which included notable awards such as Zone III Player of the Year and ECC Most Valuable Player. “It was really exciting for me. I didn’t expect it at all, just because I have a lot of great players on my team, ”he said.
Davis said he looks forward to last year as ECC Kat and hopes to have more success with his colleagues. “I’m excited to have fun and just get more goals like we did this year. A good goal would be to win another Zone III championship; this time, with a longer, normal season and more teams, ”Davis said.
Davis will compete in his final season on the Erie Public College volleyball team in the fall of 2021, and he said he is excited about what to expect next.