Carico sets her mark on Minnesota

Former Trojan quickly becoming key component of Gophers volleyball team.

by Aleutian Calabay

Some people are just never satisfied, and that includes Taylor Carico , the new starting setter for the Gophers Volleyball team. Carico, a senior transfer from USC, comes to Minnesota with an impressive résumé. Originally from Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Carico made an immediate impact for the Trojans. She earned Pac 10 freshman of the year honors and helped the Trojans reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. She followed her first season with an even more impressive sophomore season in which Carico averaged 12.67 assists per game as USC made a run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four. That season she took home second-team All-American honors. A depleted Trojan team left Carico with a down season her junior year, but she still managed to make Pac 10 Conference honorable mention. At the end of three seasons, Carico had 4,101 assists, making her third all-time in assists for USC. But after three successful years with the Trojans, Carico transferred to Minnesota. âÄúI wanted to go somewhere outside of California to play at a new program and do something different,âÄù Carico said. âÄúI was just ready for a change.âÄù The transition to Minnesota has been a smooth one for Carico thus far. With last yearâÄôs starting setter Rachel Hartmann graduating, the door was wide open for Carico to jump into a starting role. Carico wasted no time showing what she brings to the Gophers. In the season opener, she had 52 assists, eight kills and 12 digs in five sets as Minnesota beat Kansas State. Through the seasonâÄôs first six games, Carico is averaging 8.96 assists per set. âÄúThe setter in volleyball is like the quarterback in football,âÄù Minnesota coach Mike Hebert said. âÄúEveryone kind of looks to them to set the tone for how the teamâÄôs going to play, and Taylor is very confident in herself and gives off the vibe that things are going to be fine and weâÄôre going to win because IâÄôm leading the way.âÄù Of course thereâÄôs a lot off of the court that goes into transitioning from California to Minnesota life. Carico has expressed how she does not look forward to the temperature dropping. However, there have been some pleasant surprises for Carico upon her arrival. âÄúEveryone is very friendly, both in Minneapolis and at the U,âÄù Carico said. âÄúThe community really appreciates the Gophers sports a ton here; they keep track of them; they support them a lot more so than at USC. We have a ton of fans here.âÄù