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carmina-raquel-volleyball
Credit: Christian Walton

The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn volleyball's Carmina Raquel 15 questions about her sport, her time at Penn, and life overall. Here's what the junior had to say.

1. Introduce yourself.

I am a junior DS libero on the volleyball team and I am from Los Angeles. I am in the LSM program, so I am in Wharton and the College studying finance and biology.

2. What are three things the typical person would not know about you?

I am the youngest of four girls, I am the co-founder of a non-profit organization called Feed2Succeed, and we raise money to feed malnourished kids in the Philippines. The other co-founder is my sister who was also on the volleyball team with me, and lastly I enjoy singing.

3. In a few words, how would you describe the team?

The team is very close-knit and also very hilarious. Anytime I am with them or anyone on the team, I have the best time because we all know each other very, very well, and we all have a very interesting sense of humor, so it is very fun to be around all the time.

4. What is your favorite pastime?

When I am home, my sisters and I really like to go hiking in LA. Also, I really like cooking, whether it is for myself at school or for my sisters and family at home.

5. Do you have a specific song you like to listen to when you play?

Our team’s favorite part of game days other than playing, of course, is our pregame dance parties in our locker room. We have songs each year that become our team's anthem. Last year, it was Body by Loud Luxury.

6. What is your favorite part about Penn volleyball?

My favorite part about Penn volleyball is really my teammates. Everyone is so dedicated, but also so supportive of one another. My favorite thing is how personality-wise, we are a very diverse group and we really come together both on and off the court. The people I am surrounded with always push me to be better, which is really great.

7. Who do you get your inspiration from?

I would say my sisters, any one of them and all of them. I think by being the youngest of four girls, I have always looked up to them my whole life. Two out of the three of them also played volleyball. They have inspired me my whole life in school and in sports. They are my biggest supporters. I am very grateful for them.

8. What Disney character would you say you are most similar to?

I would say Mulan because she is my favorite Disney princess. Her strength and courage and the whole story is very inspiring. Also, being Asian it is nice to have the role model and connection. I also wanna say Mushu, out of all the side characters, Mushu is my favorite.

9. What is a piece of advice you would give to the younger version of yourself?

A piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to not be so hard on myself. Growing up with three older sisters is always great, but I always thought it was a lot to look up to. Just to be more confident in my own way.

10. What is an unpopular opinion you hold?

I think pineapple on pizza is fine.

11. Are you typically more of a morning person or night owl?

I honestly feel like I am both. Even during virtual school, I wake up at 7:30 every morning, but I also really like staying up late, so I would say both.

12. What has been your favorite moment at Penn so far?

It is hard to think of just one. Volleyball-wise, last year's Senior Night was really fun and memorable because it was my sister's Senior Night. So my whole family and friends were there, and it was great to celebrate her and the other senior, Madison [Goldstein], and celebrate with the team.

Outside of sports, one of my favorite memories has been this past Election Day. It was one of the most happy days at Penn. It was interesting since it was virtual. It was just a very happy day. The weather was great, the news was great for me, and being in Philadelphia at such a pivotal moment was such a privilege.

It was very nice to walk down to City Hall with my teammates and celebrate with the rest of Philadelphia. Obviously we were very safe about COVID, but it was nice to celebrate something with my teammates.

13. Is there anything in life that you regret?

I don't really think so. I will say, I got an awful haircut in first grade. It was a bowl cut; it was so short. I would say I regret it, but looking back I love the pictures, and they are really fun to show people. In general, no regrets.

14. How would you describe your personality?

I would say I am pretty outgoing, but within my own comfort zone. I am very curious. I enjoy learning about a lot of things, which feeds into why I like meeting new people. I am a Capricorn, and I feel like I really align to the Capricorn traits. I am also a pretty driven person.

15. You are given $1 million. What are you doing with it?

I would donate it to my organization Feed2Suceed. I was just talking to my sister about how to raise money for our organization, so I would want put some of it to that and then donate the rest to other organizations that matter to me.

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