People across Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott campus know of Darja Perisic. She is one of the senior volleyball players who led the Lady Eagles to the first CALPAC tournament where they took second. Some also know that on the volleyball website it says Perisic is from Tuscon, Ariz. This is true, but born in Serbia she learned volleyball at a different level than most here in America.
Volleyball and other sports in Europe are started around an individual and not a team like here in the United States. When Perisic came to the states for high school, it was a whole new ball game. Her skills easily placed her on the varsity team. “It was very difficult,” Perisic said about the difference, “I hardly knew the language and had to look and follow what the other girls were doing.” The European way of sports showed her to look to her own accomplishments rather than role models. Perisic has been supported by her mother throughout her volleyball career. “Mom is everything,” she said with a smile.
Applying to ERAU, Perisic had no idea there was a volleyball program and was only interested in the Global Security major. However, after learning there was a program, she went to a tryout and was on the team within the week. Of the sport itself, she loves hating her teammates, “Because they are like my family. You love them and then they drive you up the wall.” Perisic always hated preseason because of the ridiculous training involved, but she said, “You are always proud of yourself of what you accomplish during the season.”
With the season over, Perisic is happy to be hanging up the towel after 13 straight years of volleyball. “It has been a great run,” she said about her career in the sport, “But 13 years is enough for me.” Embry-Riddle will see another volleyball player leave after a great season of making it to the CALPAC conference championship. Perisic’s last remark and thoughts to those who will follow is simply, “Good luck to the Baby Eagles. If you want it, everything will work out in the end.”