Q: What was it about Yale that drew your interest during the recruiting process?
A: I narrowed it down to high-level volleyball and academic schools, which is not that large of a pool. When I was comparing Yale to the other schools that I visited, I just clicked way more with the girls. All of them were really similar to me and they were thriving here. A lot are from California, which made me feel good — [it showed me] that a California girl can survive out here. No one talked behind each other’s backs, and everyone just works well together on the team.
Q: What is your favorite thing about volleyball?
A: I love competing, and I love winning. Volleyball is a really cool sport because it’s a lot about momentum and chemistry, and how a group can work together with more than just talent.
Q: What is the biggest difference between being on a competitive club volleyball team and playing in NCAA Division I competition?
A: The strategizing that goes in before a match and the amount that we study up on the other team. The amount of intellectual effort that it takes at the Division I level is not anywhere comparable to high-level club competition. [With my club team,] we didn’t scout or prepare for games like we do here, and there’s a lot more buildup for each game than at the level below.
Q: What is the dynamic like between the veterans and newcomers on Yale’s team?
A: It’s awesome. They’re not pushy and they’re not telling us what to do all the time, but the leadership is really strong. We want to be like them and follow in their footsteps, so it’s really motivating and a very healthy environment. The older girls are amazing.
Q: What is something that has been different than you expected coming into your first year?
A: People would always say, ‘You’re going to be really busy, and not have time for this and that.’ But I totally underestimated how busy a student-athlete’s life is, and how demanding it is. I don’t think that you can really prepare for that or know what it’s going to be like no matter how much people tell you. But it’s definitely worth it and rewarding.
Q: What do you feel like you bring to the volleyball program on and off the court?
A: I feel like I bring energy, and that’s just one thing I always try to focus on because I’m not always on the court. I’m still learning how our system works, but one thing that I can consistently focus on bringing is energy and positivity. That’s been my focus — more than skills or anything, I’m just trying to have a good attitude and lift up everyone.
Q: What are you most excited for in the season ahead?
A: I am so excited for the [conference] season to start. Preseason has been fun, but I’m super excited to get in the rhythm of games on Fridays and Saturday and playing in the Ivy League. And then, of course, I’m excited for the rivalry games. I’m so excited to experience the Harvard-Yale game. I love a good rivalry, the competition and the energy.