Athlete: Benishe Dillard-Roberts, Kent-Meridian, Class of 1995 Sport: Volleyball, basketball, track, tennis High-school rewind: Led Kent-Meridian...

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Athlete: Benishe Dillard-Roberts, Kent-Meridian, Class of 1995


Sport: Volleyball, basketball, track, tennis


High-school rewind: Led Kent-Meridian to three consecutive Class 4A state volleyball tournament appearances. The Royals placed second in 1993 and third in 1994.


After high school: Led Long Beach State to a 36-0 record and 1998 NCAA volleyball championship, and was named to the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team. Dillard-Roberts was a middle blocker for the U.S. Professional Volleyball’s St. Louis Quest, and was the league’s MVP in 2002.


She played for the U.S. National Volleyball Team from 1999 to 2001 and was an alternate to the 2000 Olympic Games. Dillard-Roberts has spent plenty of time overseas, playing professionally in Italy, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and, currently, in Spain.


After athletics: Dillard-Roberts still plays professionally, but plans to retire after the season.


Personal: Dillard-Roberts, 29, resides in Phoenix with her husband.


Fast forward: After traveling the world in the name of volleyball, Dillard-Roberts knows the ups and downs of playing overseas.


“The best part about being an athlete is you get to travel the world and experience different cultures,” she said in a recent e-mail interview. “Leaving home is always scary, but learning to adapt to different lifestyles is a part of traveling.”


Dillard-Roberts credits her success and support to her family.


“My husband and family are very supportive,” she said. “They are my biggest fans. If it wasn’t for their love and prayers, I would never have played for as long as I have.”



Zach Landres-Schnur