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On Tap with ... Cara Mattaliano


As the women’s volleyball season comes to a close, Cara Mattaliano is just getting started in her college career: The freshman outside hitter has earned two Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors and is ranked second in the Ivy League in kills per set with 3.39. Mattaliano sat down with the ‘Prince’ to discuss cheese, badminton and muffins.

Q: Where are you from and what’s it like there?


A: I’m from Glen Ellyn, Ill. which is like 40 minutes outside of Chicago, but I just say I’m from Chicago here since no one knows where Glen Ellyn is. It’s a nice little suburban area, very Midwestern.

Q: I see you play sports. Do you like sports?

A: Yes. I do like sports. I like watching basketball — I’m a big Bulls fan.

Q: What position do you play and why do you like or dislike it?

A: I’m an outside and I like it because firstly I would just suck at everything else, I’m assuming. And I get to both hit and pass — kind of the best of both worlds.

Q: Best part of playing volleyball?


A: It’s taught me a lot of things, but mostly I like the competitiveness of the sport.

Q: What about the worst part?

A: I guess I’ve had to miss out on a lot of things just because of the time commitment.

Q: When did you first start playing volleyball?

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A: When I was in fourth grade.

Q: Was it a big sport in your area growing up?

A: Yes, it was a huge sport, all my friends played.

Q: When did you first think you could see yourself playing college volleyball?

A: Junior year was when everyone had to start recruiting, so I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I should do this also.’

Q: Would you rather eat 10 pounds of cheese in one sitting or a wheelbarrow of peanut butter? Why?

A: Peanut butter for sure. It would be too much cheese. Nobody needs that much cheese.

Q: If you could play any other sport, which would you play?

A: Badminton.

Q: Why?

A: I just love it. I feel like if there was badminton at my high school, I would potentially not be here right now. Because I’d be playing badminton somewhere else.

Q: Do you play often?

A: Nope, I almost never play. Once a year, if that.

Q: Who is your funniest teammate?

A: Probably [sophomore] Annie Ferlmann. She’s just ridiculous. Or [sophomore] Sarah Daschbach. She says the funniest things. Maybe they’re not supposed to be funny, but they’re all really funny.

Q: Who is the funniest member of the men’s team?

A: That is a hard question. They’re all funny in their own ways. [Junior] Will [Siroky] is really funny. He just does funny things, like pranks and stuff.

Q: Would you rather change gender every time you sneeze or not be able to tell the difference between a muffin and a baby? Why?

A: The muffin and a baby. Well, I would also probably just have to say I’m never eating muffins again, cause that could be bad ... But I would also just never want to change genders.

Q: What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you during a game?

A: A lot of weird things happen during games. Like getting hit in the face and then you don’t know what to do because it’s an intense point so you can’t just laugh about it or play it off.

Q: Does that sort of thing happen often?

A: It actually does happen to me sometimes when the ball bounces off my face and stays in play.

Q: Best part and worst part of Princeton?

A: The community and the workload, respectively.

Q: What about being a varsity athlete at Princeton?

A: The best part is having the team, it’s an awesome experience. The worst part? The time is definitely tough to manage.