Profile: Danielle Gould

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Among other pastimes, senior Danielle Gould enjoys spending her time organizing furniture in creative ways, binge watching Netflix and playing volleyball.

Gould started out, like most young athletes, by playing for fun. She now co-captains the varsity volleyball team alongside senior Taylor Hunter.

“My dad would take me to the park and we would practice soccer,” Gould said. “And then we would get bored with that and we would mess around with a volleyball.”

Gould wrote to the Talon that her parents are her biggest inspiration and number one fans.

“I know it’s cheesy, but my parents are my biggest role models. My entire life, they have supported me in everything I’ve done and have put me and my siblings first no matter what,” Gould wrote. “I have learned so much from them and I’m incredibly lucky for the opportunities they have given me.”

Though not athletes themselves, Gould wrote that her parents helped her in what she calls her “mental game.”

“What’s shaped me is not any special athletic genes, but [my parents’] interpretation of the world around them. They both have backgrounds in psychology and have influenced my mental game tremendously,” Gould wrote.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Deadwylier
Senior Danielle Gould serves during game against Westlake on Sept. 15

Gould said she feels that volleyball is a comfortable sport for her to play because of its competitive, yet non-violent nature. She said she prefers being separated from the other team by a net.

According to Gould, one of the best things about volleyball is how necessary each person is to the team effort.

“I enjoy the team work aspect. You literally can’t do it by yourself,” Gould said. “Being on a team is special … you learn trust, frustration, and how to perform under pressure.”

Gould said she has shared memorable moments with her team both on the court and off.

“After a day off of usual game play, the team went to Cho Cho San. We convinced the waiter that it was Taylor [Hunter’s] birthday and they proceeded to celebrate with a hat and song. She had no clue what was going on!” Gould wrote.

A notable moment for Gould and the varsity team was winning the Coastal Canyon League championship two years in a row.

“The winning game last year was [a defining moment] because it was the second time we won league and a lot of people doubted the abilities of the team,” Gould said. “Winning showed ourselves and the people who came and supported every game that we had worked hard to improve.”

Gould recently committed to New York University, where she will continue to play Division III volleyball and major in Film and Production.

“NYU has been my number one school for all of high school and as long as I can remember. I’m just really lucky that I get to play there,” Gould said.

For anyone looking to start seriously playing and committing a sport, Gould recommends following one’s passion.

“Find something you love. You’re going to have to sacrifice time and energy, so come to terms with that up front. I’ve brought so many ‘I’m-sorry-I-missed-your-birthday-party-I-had-a-volleyball-tournament’ presents,” Gould wrote.

In addition to being co-captain of the volleyball team, Gould is also president of Oak Park High School’s Associated Student Body. She holds these two roles, while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule. For instance, Gould’s enrollment this semester includes three APs (AP Statistics, AP Environmental Science and AP Computer Science), ASB and volleyball.

“Although it’s a little ironic, I binge watch Netflix shows to keep me sane,” Gould said. “Usually ‘The Office.’”

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One Response to “Profile: Danielle Gould”

  1. Jay Greenlinger on October 6th, 2018 9:32 AM

    Danielle attended the Wishtree event on October 1st. She made the event better with her ability to discuss the book meaningfully with elementary students. She was one of MANY OPHS students who helped make this a true community event. We are so proud of Danielle and all of the other students who attended, participated, and engaged our younger students in conversations about books.