Q: You had a really impressive senior season. Why do you think you had as much success as you had?

A: “I definitely want to [credit] my coach, both my coaches. They really pushed me to be the best I can be. I did go to a new position this year, so they had to teach me a lot of new moves and footwork and stuff like that, so they really pushed me to be the best I could be and do my best.”

Q: Was it hard to adjust to the new position, or did you like stepping into it, and do you feel like it fit you well?

A: “In the very beginning it was very new to me. It’s very different from middle. I liked it a lot. Once I got in the groove of it, it became kind of like second nature to me. I just kind of had to get used to it, and then it became a little bit easier.”

Q: Your season was a little bit up and down. Did you anticipate it going that way?

A: “We did lose a few seniors, so I did kind of anticipate it being a little rough in the beginning, just until we could get to know each other better. … But I thought we really stepped up this year. We had to do some different things to get to know each other and get the team chemistry, but as the year went on we really stepped up and became a pretty good team.”

Q: You became one of your team’s leaders on the court, in practice and off the court. Were you able to embrace that role as a senior?

A: “I wanted to be a team leader and be vocal and lead by example. I just wanted my teammates to come to me and ask questions, or if they just had anything that they needed, even if it wasn’t volleyball-related, I wanted to be that person to come to.”

Q: You were set more than most players normally are and had one of the highest attack-attempt numbers in VHSL history. Did you like having that role?

A: “I loved being set that much. It just gave me lots of opportunities to be able to make my team better, to make myself better, to get those wins. I liked getting set that much, but it also gave assists for [setter] Gabbi [Hogg]. It worked for the team.”

Q: You also had a good season defensively, with double-doubles [in kills and digs] most games. Do you feel like that was a strength for you?

A: “I feel like it was a strength. Since I don’t play volleyball year-round, it did take a little bit of time to get used to it and get my passes back to ‘3’ passes [on a 0-3 passing scale], but as the year went, I started to progress. One of the main focuses for my coach is we have to be able to pass if we want to play, and so we work on that all the time. Ever since my freshman year we’ve been working on passing, and every year I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit better.”

Q: What was it like to be as successful as you were in volleyball, your second sport?

A: “I honestly just played for fun. I just tried to make the best of my senior year, and I was just gonna let whatever happens happen. I did set a goal to be able to be the best team that we could be, and I thought we did really well to succeed in reaching that.”

Q: Did you find it hard to focus on volleyball with your high school basketball season just around the corner?

A: “I actually like volleyball because it’s kind of break between my travel season and into my high school season. … I don’t get much of a break [from basketball] at all, so I just find it a time to have fun and not think of basketball. … It was a new position, so I was just hoping to be able to help the team out in any way I could.”

Q: Did you have any pregame rituals?

A: “When the national anthem [is played], we swing our hands and we hold pinkies. I squeeze my fingers to the beat. So I have to do that before every game. It’s like my thing.”

Q: Which game was your favorite to play this season?

A: “Definitely the last JF game we played [in the Seminole District tournament], because we beat them, and the crowd was really loud. It was just a lot of fun. It was just like a hype game.”

Q: What’s your favorite subject?

A: “Probably math. … I just like working with numbers and variables.”

Q: Who’s your favorite teacher?

A: “Mr. Alley, my Spanish II teacher my freshman year.”

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?

A: “I like Olive Garden a lot. I like the shrimp Alfredo. Oh the breadsticks are really good, and the salad.”

Q: Who’s your favorite athlete?

A: “I don’t know. Well my family, we really like Larry Bird. My dad’s really influenced me on Larry Bird. He’s been a fan of the Celtics ever since he was little.”

Q: Finish the sentence: The person I most look up to is …

A: “Probably my papa, my dad’s dad, [David Young]. He [was] in the Air Force for 30 years, and then he moved to Lynchburg and he was dean of aviation at Liberty [University], and he just loves people and he’s very passionate and caring. He’s an inspiration for me.”

Q: What’s your favorite memory of your career or season?

A: “My junior year, in the first round of regions. We did lose that game, but it was just such a close game. We lost by two points [in five sets]. It was just an awesome game. There were so many people here. It was a loud environment. And even though we lost, we left the gym proud.”

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Contact Emily Brown at (434) 385-5529 or ebrown@newsadvance.comFacebook: The News & Advance Sports.

Emily Brown covers the Hillcats, ODAC and high school sports for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5529.

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