Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Why Casey? She has stepped up to fill the shoes of graduated middle Casey Ritt and was honored with a spot on the all-tournament team at Villanova last week.
1. You inherited big shoes this year, taking over for Casey Ritt in the middle. Has the pressure of taking over for such an accomplished player helped you to succeed?
Yes, I’d say replacing such a spot has helped me succeed! Even though I am playing outside and Casey was a middle, I find myself trying to fill big shoes because she has graduated, but even bigger shoes since Mo [Maureen Colligan] and Michelle [McCarthy] are both out with injuries. I like the pressure put on my shoulders to get the job done. I believe it’s helped me to work hard every day in practice and play my best every weekend.
2. The team has had a very tough non-conference start to the year, playing teams from much larger schools. What do these tests teach the team as you move further along in the season?
I think [Coach Ryan Baker] put together such a great schedule for us this preseason, and I’m so glad he had enough confidence in us so that we had the opportunity to play such highly ranked teams. Although we didn’t finish with the record we were aiming for, we worked hard and our abilities were really tested every game we played. As our coaches have helped us realize, we are now facing our first week of practice right before Patriot League play, where we will play to learn but into our first and second match playing to win. We have the mindset that every point and every match is important in order for us to reach our ultimate goal of winning a Patriot League Championship.
3. You recorded another double-double in the Duquesne contest with 14 kills and 12 digs. How have you crafted your game in both of these areas?
With the beginning of every match, I think, “What can I do in this match to make my team better? What do I need to do to win this match?” The answers to these questions are simple: Do everything in my power to put the ball away and do whatever I can to keep the ball from hitting the floor on our side of the court.
4. Is there anything different about playing in preseason tournaments versus the regular season? Is it more taxing on the team?
Preseason is great in that we are able to figure each other out on and off the court and truly become a team. We have done a lot of team bonding so far this season and I couldn’t be happier with our team dynamic off the court. We are coming together as a team on the court and have made a lot of progress since day one of preseason. The real difference between preseason and league matches is the fact that the time is now and can’t be made up during the next match. Every game counts towards our rankings in the league, so it’s imperative that we continue to capitalize on every single match.
Interview by Mitch Waxman