July 5, 2007 - by
Q&A With Sophomore Volleyball Player Brianna Barry

July 5, 2007

Q: How would you evaluate the 2006 season?
“I would evaluate the 2006 season as a very successful one. Coming into the FSU program as a freshman I was not expecting to become such a huge part of my team and have an important responsibility. Because the high standards that were put onto my shoulders, I was able to perform to my best ability and make a difference amongst my teammates. Although we had our ups and downs, I believe that we came together as a team at the end of the season and ended on a high note.”

Q: What was the highlight for you?
“My highlight of the 2006 season was beating Georgia Tech in five intense games at Georgia Tech. That weekend I was overcoming having a serious cold and I pushed through the pain to play my best and we ended up winning that match, which was a huge accomplishment for us.”

Q: How would you assess the spring season?
“First off it was an eye opener. We started the spring season with individual practices which were interesting but helpful all in one. We were able to work on our specific positions and we had more one on one time with the coaches. As the season went on we moved into team practices which were very productive because we were able to work on the dynamics of our team to see how we meshed. Our workouts were way more intense than they were in the fall because we had more time to put effort into them. But they were quite helpful because they made me so much stronger, which helps me and the team.”

Q: How motivating were the wins in the ACC/SEC Challenge?
“When we went to the ACC/SEC Challenge at Georgia Tech I was nervous, excited and anxious all in one because we hadn’t truly competed since the fall season. The wins we achieved were very motivating because it showed that even though we didn’t have our entire team there we were able to end our weekend with success. For myself, the coaches were pleased with the way I was playing, which motivated me because then I was able to think positive while playing and make a positive impact on my team.”

Q: What are you expectations for next year?
“My expectations for next year are very high. Coming off a successful freshman season, I believe that with the new girls who will become part of our program, we will be able to have a strong 2007 season. Having Mira (Djuric), Jordana (Price), and Ashlee (Moon) transfer to FSU is a great accomplishment for our program because they will add a whole new dimension to our team to raise us up to another level. Also with the addition of the freshmen coming in I believe that our team is going to one that the ACC will have to look out for.”

Q: What needs to be done to make it to the NCAA Tournament?
“There are many things that need to be done to make it into the NCAA Tournament. I think that everyone on the team needs to be working hard over the summer to make sure we can start the preseason off on the right foot. If one or more of the girls on our team doesn’t work hard enough then they will bring down the entire team. Secondly, I believe that we need to be consistent during the fall season. If we train hard and practice hard then I believe that we will play at the same level for every match. And lastly I believe that we need to believe in ourselves. Even though we had a rough patch in our season last year, we stuck through the hard times and had confidence in ourselves to make the best out of it. If we continue to have the confidence in each other then we will be able to go far in the 2007 season.”

Q: How important will the off-season be to the team’s success in the fall?
“This summer will be extremely important. If my teammates and I do not work hard this summer we will not start our preseason off right. We need to make sure to work hard during the off season to make sure we are strong for our matches.”

Q: What are your plans for the summer?
“My plans for the summer are very exciting! I tried out for the Girls Junior National Team in Austin, Texas, for three days and played some intense volleyball. I unfortunately did not make the final 12 players but I had a great experience. I was home in Winter Springs until the second session summer school began the end of June. I am enjoyed spending time with my family and high school friends. I did a satellite camp in New Smyrna Beach with Erin Tyson which was a good learning weekend for the girls of the NSBHS. When I was home I worked two Youth Volleyball Camps at the Oviedo Aquatic Center – I did these last year and they are a fun learning experience for me because I hope to be a coach in the near future. Now that I’m back in Tallahassee I will be taking summer school classes while working out with the girls who are returning to the team and some of the freshman who will be coming into our program this august.”

Q: How will you incorporate volleyball?
“When I was home I was working out with one of my high school friends who is an athletic trainer at Baylor University. I believe it to be very important to maintain my stamina, endurance, and muscle mass over the summer to make sure I am fit and ready for preseason and our upcoming fall season.”

Q: How would you evaluate your first year in terms of volleyball and school?
“My first year of college was definitely one to remember. For academics I made the Academic All-ACC Volleyball Team, which was a huge accomplishment for me. I take my studies very seriously and I always push myself to do my best in whatever I am doing. During the fall season it was difficult because we traveled on Fridays which meant that we would miss class, but I kept up my homework and studying for tests and received high grades in all of my classes. The spring season was not as much of a time crunch situation but more of a time management one. Because we were not practicing for hours on end everyday, I had more time to procrastinate and not get as much accomplished in a timely fashion as I would have during our fall season. But in the end things went well for me and I am happy with my freshmen year on the academic level.

“For the volleyball aspect of my first year at FSU, it was a whirlwind of emotions. I felt joy, pain, defeat, frustration, happiness and accomplishment. Being a freshman I came into the program not expecting to become such an important part of my team right off the bat. I was ready to help my team when ever they would need me, which turned out to be in every match! I learned so much just during preseason and the learning experience continued throughout our fall and spring seasons. I was pushed not only by my coaches and teammates but by myself. I am my biggest critic and I hit some rough patches where my frustrations overpowered who I am and they made me someone my teammates would not want to play with. I learned from my mistakes and I believe that having a year under my belt now and understanding the game more and having a better understanding of myself that I will be able to make a huge step forward in my volleyball career.”

Q: What was the hardest part of each?
“The hardest part of being a student-athlete first and foremost was keeping my grades up. I did not want to receive low grades and have to worry about being ineligible under NCAA rules. That was what scared me the most. Time was a huge factor due to traveling and match weekends and spending time with friends and family. It was definitely breathing down my back the entire year and I know that it will be there for the rest of my college career, and I will have to keep my mind where it should be and get things accomplished.

“The hardest part on the sport aspect was making sure I was pushing myself to my fullest potential everyday in practice and matches. I would not want to make a negative impact on my team at any time so I had to remember to keep myself positive at all times and perform to my best ability. Playing volleyball at a collegiate level definitely took a toll on my body and mind – taking all emotion out of me at times. I had to overcome these obstacles to become a stronger athlete, and understand my own body and self.”

Q: What was the easiest?
“Well, not much of college is easy. I did enjoy sometimes the ability to have alone time. I was able to collect myself when I needed to and grow as a person. I think the easiest part of school itself was that I always have pushed myself to excel in the classroom, so it never has been any different. Also the same with volleyball – I always want to play the best I can and I will stop at nothing to get there.”

Q: Did anything surprise you?
“The one thing that surprised me about college would be the “freedom” that I achieved per say. I did have to opportunity to miss classes, but I would have to await the consequences from my academic advisors as well as my coaches. Also I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do after practices, but only to make sure that what activities I take part in wouldn’t impact my classes or volleyball.”

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