CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - Middleburg High volleyball standout Senia McIntyre (Class of 1995) and Orange Park High volleyball’s ace Taylor Martin (Class of 2009), have both “engineered” their way to a spot on the 10-athlete Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s All-Time Volleyball team list with McIntyre chosen to the All-Time team.
“I’m more than honored to just be on the list because the athletes on the list are tremendous players from different eras,” said Martin, 28, who played as an outside hitter and is now living and working in Cedar Rapids as a jet engineer. “I had a great four years at Embry-Riddle while I was there and can thank my teammates for our success and my inclusion on such a prestigious list.”
For McIntyre, a 1996-1999 player at Embry-Riddle and second on the all-time kills mark, Middleburg High coach Carrie Prewitt remembered vividly the jumping ability.
“She was a small, little thing, but could jump out of the gym,” said Prewitt, who got two district titles and two berths in the Class 6A Elite Eight state playoffs with McIntyre and teammate Jenny Manz, who had a stellar career at the University of Florida.
McIntyre is in Miami as an engineer for a traffic management firm.
Note: Martin was not chosen to the All-Time Team which picked two outside hitters from a list of 10.
Martin, who had just returned from a test flight test on a Challenger aircraft (not the Challenger as in NASA, but a Bombardier Challenger, sounds just as cool, a single-engine aircraft used by the U.S. Coast Guard), spoke of her spot in the cockpit as a flight engineer.
“No, not the NASA Challenger, not that cool,” said Martin, who has worked at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids since 2015. “It’s a small business jet. I sit behind the pilot and evaluate the systems we build as they fly.”
Martin graduated Embry-Riddle with a degree in Human Factors Psychology and later earned her master’s in human factors and system engineering in 2015.
“In those terms, yes, we are a little nerdy at the dinner table,” said Martin, with fiancee Tim also working at Collins. “I help design concepts for the flight deck that help bring the users; the pilots, into the loop. Right now, we are working on touch screen software for the cockpit. Obviously, we have also developed the fail-safes for that just like hitting the wrong key on a phone in the car.”
On the list for Embry-Riddle outside hitters, Martin, who graduated in 2012 with four varsity seasons, joined athletes from as far back as 1996 and as recent as 2018.
Martin’s career statistics included 1,317 kills, fifth in school history; 139 matches player, sixth all time; plus a fourth best 506 kills for her 2012 season.
Martin, 28, was a part of a succession of four region playoff berths at Orange Park High School under coaches Amy Walker, now at Fleming Island High, and Destiny Brightman, now at Ridgeview High School.
As a top-ranked outside hitter for the Raiders, Martin chose Embry-Riddle to continue her play.
“I was interested in the aeronautics programs and was challenged by the volleyball program which was and, still is, one of the most competitive in the country,” said Martin, who helped the Eagles win three Sun Conference titles with three straight years of unbeaten conference play. “We lost in the conference final my freshman year and that was the last time we lost a conference game (slates of 12-0, 12-0 and 18-0 in conference play with season records of 24-8, 33-4, 30-6 and 29-6 with three trips to the NAIA National Championship Tournament).”
For her own aspirations, Martin earned a third team All-American status in her senior year. Embry-Riddle teammate Jordan Holcomb, also a senior outside hitter, was chosen to the first team NAIA All-American team with a third teammate, senior setter Adriana Vazquez getting a third team selection as well.
“That was the biggest honor that I wanted as far back as my freshman year,” said Martin. “Three national tournaments were awesome, but to end my career as an All-American was the icing on the cake.”
Martin continues her volleyball in club ball in Iowa with a National Title in a club division just below Open, the highest talent level, followed by AA, A, BB and B as per talent level. “There is a ton of volleyball in Iowa with a lot of college talent still insanely good,” said Martin. “I’m playing very competitive volleyball up here even eight years later. There are adult divisions with different ages and we; Team Bearclaw out of Iowa Region, won the USA Adult Volleyball A national title last year.”
McIntyre finished at Embry-Riddle with 1,550 kills for second in school history with 109 blocks and 1,831 digs; third overall.