VOLLEYBALL | Love of the game drives volleyball star

Alexis Crusey ’10 is no stranger to dominating play, as she proved Saturday when she slammed down nine of the Bulldogs’ 10 kills in the game against Colorado. After an auspicious start to her senior season, the California native and Berkeley College member talks to the News about what draws her to the sport, her recent games and plans for life off the court.

Q When did you start playing volleyball?

A I started playing volleyball in the sixth grade, so when I was about 12.

Q What do you love about volleyball?

A I love that it’s fast-paced and it’s graceful. A lot of the sport is to have finesse — there’s a “touch” when you make contact with the ball that can always be worked on, and that improves with experience. Also, I love the team! It’s like having 16 best friends; we’re here as a group to play.

Q Is there anything about training that you particularly like?

A I like the idea that you’re breaking your body down and building it back up to make it stronger in the end.

Q What’s your favorite experience so far from being on the Yale volleyball team?

A Definitely winning at Princeton last year. It was so exhausting getting to that point … it was so much hard work and so much strain. We had been training since the end of last year’s season, and after the ball hit the ground we just wanted to collapse because it had been so much grueling work to get there.

Q How did you feel about the team’s wins this past weekend?

A It was an amazing experience. We beat Georgetown and then went against Fairfield and Colorado … we came out late at night against powerful teams and we just dominated and controlled the games.

Q Is there anything specific about your game that you would like to improve?

A I try not to be too critical of myself. I might try to just be a smarter player, knowing when to go for the hard swing and when to just keep the ball in play … but really I try not to over-think things while in the games.

Q What are some goals for this year?

A I want to go out high in my senior year. We are the best, we did really well last year, and I know we can finish even higher.

Q Who inspires you?

A I don’t think that there is one person. It’s more like the feeling that I get while I’m playing … It’s just a rush of adrenaline and being in the zone. You lose yourself in playing the sport that you love.

Q What do you see for yourself after school?

A I’m interested in pursuing a graduate degree after college in psychology. I’m not sure if I’m going to apply immediately, or if I’m going to wait a few years and take a break, but it’s definitely something I’m planning to do.

Q Do you have any hobbies or talents?

A Volleyball is my talent. As for hobbies, I really like to scrapbook. I started in my senior year of high school, and I like to make them for vacations, or as gifts for a friend.

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