October 8, 2007 - by
Conversations With Mira Djuric

Oct. 8, 2007

What is your favorite thing to do away from volleyball?
“I don’t know, basically whatever I feel like doing that day like movies, reading, beach, you know just regular stuff.”

Did you have a favorite athlete growing up?
“Vladimir Grbic, but I don’t think anyone in the states know him. He was a Serbian volleyball player and in Serbia we have really good volleyball players, especially men. He’s really famous worldwide.”

Do you have a favorite place to hang out in Tallahassee?
“Since the season started, and even before that, we really didn’t have a lot of time to go out and stuff. So basically it’s one of the girls’ houses. I can’t remember the last time I went out, so I don’t really have a favorite place.”

Do you have a greatest volleyball moment?
“Yes, actually it was when I was at Oregon. We played Stanford and I was playing left-outside and I hit the center in the face. So that was pretty much the greatest since I came here.”

If you could change one thing about volleyball, such as a rule or court dimensions, what would it be?
“That we can’t say things across the net, like we can’t talk smack to other players and we can’t talk back to refs.”

Do you listen to any kind of music to pump you up before games?
“Yeah I have a selected few that I listen to before every game, which is like the only “ritual” that I have before games.”

Did you do anything fun this summer – did you go anywhere?
“We went to the beach a couple times and pretty much practiced. That was the most fun we got this summer. The whole summer was about practicing since I got back from being in Serbia for six months. I know it’s boring, but we don’t have a lot of time to to fun things. Jackie BonSalle and I had a road trip to Jacksonville and got lost for five hours. We went to drop off her friend and then we were trying to find the Cheesecake Factory and we ended up eating at KFC because we got so lost.”

Do you have a favorite sport to watch on television?
“I don’t really like watching sports because I get overexcited and I yell and get too emotional, but as long as it’s on television I can watch pretty much anything. If I were to be watching it live, I don’t like to watch football. I can watch basketball but that’s about it.”

What’s the biggest difference, do you think, in playing volleyball in Serbia and playing it here?
“The biggest difference is that there are a lot of different rules here. Here we play to 30, everyone else plays to 25. There are six subs instead of 15. We have technical timeouts called on eight and 16. We have a lot of different rules than here. Back home volleyball is a lot more technical. And we don’t play a couple of sports before we start playing for real. I started playing when I was 11 and that was it. And here everyone’s like, “I played basketball, volleyball, I was a track star.” I’m like, “Wow I pretty much stunk in everything but volleyball,” so that’s the biggest difference. We’re a lot more technical, it just feels like we have more knowledge before we go off to college than people in America do because we just focus on one thing rather than a bunch of different sports.”

Would you say volleyball is the biggest sport in Serbia?
“No, definitely not. It would be soccer, then basketball and then water polo and volleyball are hand-in-hand because we have really good athletes where I’m from. Considering it’s a small country it’s crazy that we have so many athletic people. The water polo team is like always first in Europe. Basketball is good and volleyball is good, but it’s not like the most popular.”

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