Q: What is your role on the volleyball team at Princeton?
A: I’m a right side hitter. We have a few girls who play that position and we interchange a little bit during the game. I try to focus on providing a lot of energy for the team. It goes a long way, and I think it’s a really important part of volleyball because it’s such a mental game. If you can provide the right amount of energy and keep the team focused, it can make a big difference.
Q: What are some of your athletic accomplishments?
A: Last year we got second in the Ivy League, which is pretty big. My high school was runner-up to state champion my senior year. It was the first time any team from my high school had ever made it to the championships.
Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
A: My freshman year of high school, I was the tall girl. The coach was a family friend, and he came up to me and said, “Look, you’ve gotta come play for me. I just need some height — try it out.” I was like, “I don’t know,” since I had played volleyball in gym class, and I just didn’t know about it. But I went and gave it a try and I fell in love with it.
Q: If you didn’t play volleyball, what sport would you play?
A: Since I’ve started playing volleyball, I’ve played a little bit of beach volleyball, but if I had to play another team sport, I’d play soccer just because I played it a lot as a little kid.
Q: What’s your favorite beach activity?
A: I love surfing. I’m from North Carolina, and we get a lot of hurricanes on the Outer Banks. We have a cottage there, so we go for the weekend and go surfing. It’s really fun.
Q: How do you like North Carolina other than the beach?
A: I love it. It’s somewhere I want to live when I’m older. It’s nice to get away and experience other stuff, but I recommend it as a place to go sometime.
Q: How fast can you serve?
A: How fast, like miles per hour? I have no idea. I’ve heard the ball gets up to about 90 [miles per hour] at times, but maybe that’s spiking, I’m not sure. We’d have to get the radar gun to see.
Q: If you could change one aspect of your game, what would it be?
A: I think that I can work on being consistent with all aspects of volleyball. That will come from focusing all the time in practice and pushing the limits.
Q: What was your “welcome to college” moment?
A: I remember leaving the gym during preseason during two-a-days, and not really anybody else was on campus yet, but I remember looking out at campus and thinking, “I’m here, this is real,” and that’s when it sank in.
Q: Why Princeton?
A: I never even considered it. For volleyball, to get recruited, you play club. A coach was walking past and saw me playing and emailed me. She told me to come check it out, and I wasn’t sure, but I came and looked and I immediately knew it was where I wanted to go.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show or book?
A: It’s hard to find time to watch TV or read for pleasure, but I can definitely say I enjoyed “The Hunger Games,” which is not too academic, but whatever.
Q: What’s your stance on the phrase YOLO?
A: I think it’s a good one. I can think of many occurrences when I wasn’t going to do something or didn’t feel like it, and somebody was like, “C’mon! YOLO!” and that gave me the inspiration to do it.
Q: What’s your dream job?
A: I’m still trying to decide, but I’ve thought of going into dermatology or sports medicine.
Q: Do you have any unusual fears?
A: Nah. I’m pretty fearless.
Q: In a game of truth or dare, do you go for the truth or the dare?
A: The dare. Almost always.
Q: What has been your favorite class at Princeton so far?
A: That’s really easy. Last semester, I took [SOC 216:] The Ghetto, and I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but it was pretty interesting. I think it was a one-time thing. I don’t think they’re going to teach it again. It was taught by Terry Williams. It was so mind-blowing, the stuff they covered in the class. We learned a lot about drugs and crack whores — very interesting.
Q: Historically, women’s volleyball at Princeton has been known to have a rowdy fanbase. Is that still true? Any comments?
A: I’d say that’s pretty accurate. They’re a great fanbase. I think we’re getting special tank tops for them this year. Dillon [Gymnasium] has such a fun atmosphere — the fans bring a lot to that since they’re always really excited. They go crazy and they heckle the other team, which is awesome. It’s so much fun. We as a team kind of build off of that.
Q: Who came up with the idea of a libero?
A: I don’t even know. I don’t even know how to properly pronounce it. I’ve heard “lee-be-ro,” I’ve heard “lib-ah-ro,” I’ve heard “libro.” It’s pretty confusing to people outside the volleyball world.
Q: Isn’t “libro” Spanish for book? Do you think maybe there’s a connection there?
A: Uh, maybe.
Q: What’s the funniest story you know about your coach?
A: She’s going to kill me for this. She really loves the cheese store on Nassau Street. I don’t know what it’s called, but she literally loves it. She took the team there once and was like, “You have to try the cheeses! They’re the best thing in the world.” It was really funny.
Q: Who is the quirkiest member of your team?
A: Sophomore [middle blocker] Tiana Woolridge. Definitely Tiana. Words can’t really describe it. It’s sort of an experience to see how quirky she is.
Q: Are you involved in any other groups on campus?
A: Not really. I’m a Theta, but I’m not a good Theta — I don’t do too much.
Q: What’s the best thing about being an athlete at Princeton?
A: The greatest part is the camaraderie. The whole team is like a family. You can get so much from every person on the team. It’s a great resource to have, and I can’t imagine how different my experience here would be if I didn’t have a team.
Q: What’s the worst thing about being an athlete at Princeton?
A: Two-a-days during preseason when it’s really hot and there aren’t many other people here, but we use frosh week as our inspiration to get through it.
Q: If you could visit any part of the planet without worrying about cost or taking time off of school, where would you go?
A: I would go to Nicaragua. I’ve been there before, but it was really great. It was the best trip I’ve ever had in my life, and I’d love to do it again.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not playing volleyball?
A: Going out.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
A: I think there might be some [of the] “High School Musical” soundtrack on my iPod.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: Whenever we’re home, we sing and dance to “Sweet Caroline” before the match. We get in a circle, and I contribute my own dance move.
Q: Why “Sweet Caroline”?
A: It’s been a tradition since long before my time.
Q: What dance move do you do?
A: There’s definitely not a word for it, but it’s similar to when little girls do double Dutch with dance moves.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/05/31387/