Throughout the summer, DartmouthSports.com will be focusing on members of the Class of 2019 who are currently in their "Sophomore Summers."
The latest installment features Zoe Leonard of the volleyball team. A libero from Hilo, Hawaii, Leonard led the team in assists during her sophomore season, a year after posting the most digs of any player on the roster as a rookie in 2015. Additionally, she was second on the Big Green with 21 aces in 2016 and was just two digs shy of reaching 200 for the year.
DartmouthSports.com: What is your favorite place on campus?
Zoe Leonard: My favorite place on campus is sitting on the Green on Wednesday afternoons when the farmers market is in full swing. I love watching all the kids of Hanover learning how to ride their bikes and playing catch while I hang out with friends and enjoy some fresh strawberries and lemonade!
DS: What was it in the recruiting process that sold you on Dartmouth?
ZL: I never actually visited the East Coast, let alone Dartmouth, before my first day of preseason freshman fall. Instead I had to rely on conversations with those who have experienced the place first-hand. The fact that not a single person had a bad thing to say made me feel very comfortable with my decision. I was also really sold on the Peak Performance program, as the thought of massages and a really nice weight room facility made me super excited!
DS: If you could swap places with one teammate, who would it be and why?
ZL: I’d want to swap places with Molly Kornfeind ’17 because we both have the same lifestyle vibes. We’re both water babies and I know swapping places with her would be so much fun. I love her family and wouldn’t mind going to the beach every day!
DS: If you could play another sport at Dartmouth, what would it be and why?
ZL: I would love to play basketball! I’m a huge fan of the team and always wanted to hoop it up! I’m not too fond of the idea of playing an outdoor sport with the winters we face so playing in Leede would be ideal. I watched every game the girls played this year and their legacy of excellence is like no other. #MindOn18
DS: If you participate in any service activities, what are they and how did you get involved?
ZL: My two favorite service activities have been the Thetford Mentorship Program and the Special Olympics. Both allow me to work with young kids and interact with them in an active environment, whether that be throwing a football with my buddy at Thetford Elementary every Tuesday or helping run events at the winter and summer Special Olympics! I’d been involved in Special Olympics back home in Hawaii in high school so it’s nice to be able to continue with the organization.
DS: Who would play you in the movie of your life?
ZL: Definitely Emma Watson.
DS: How is Hanover different or similar to where you grew up?
ZL: The small-town feel and close-knit community of Hanover feels a lot like my hometown of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. I like being able to walk down the street and smile at strangers and engage in random conversations with people at local shops about anything! I feel very safe and at home here in Hanover, but the snow is definitely not something I am used to. I had never seen the actual change in seasons before coming here, and it’s something quite beautiful!
DS: What are your plans for your upcoming off-term?
ZL: I took my off-term last winter to get hip surgery but I am super excited to be going on a foreign study program in the winter of 2018! I’m going to New Zealand and Tonga to study linguistics, Maori and Tongan, that is truly a once in a lifetime experience as I am so interested in Polynesian languages.
DS: You step outside tomorrow morning and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million (after taxes). What would you do with the money?
ZL: First I would pay for the remainder of my tuition then pay off my own and my sister’s student loans. After that I’d love to build a sports facility on the Big Island of Hawaii where I grew up and start a foundation/organization for youth sports. There is a great lack of training facilities where I live and a lot of the kids come from backgrounds that can’t afford to travel to the mainland to get recruited or be seen by college coaches. My dad has put a lot of effort into helping grow the sport of volleyball and support those athletes, and having a nice facility to help get more kids in the gym is something I really want to happen. Gym time is really hard to come by and traveling is tough, but I want more kids to have opportunities like I was fortunate enough to experience.
DS: What are your post-Dartmouth plans?
ZL: I would like to play overseas for a couple of years before moving on out of my playing career. After that I think I want to explore graduate school as a grad volleyball assistant while either attending law or business school.