October 21, 2014 - by
Taylor Nyquist Q&A

Q: How did you get into playing volleyball?

A: “I played softball, soccer, basketball and ran track, but volleyball just kind of stuck with me in high school. I started to play competitively outside of that and just fell in love with it.”

Q: How was the transition from indoor volleyball to sand?

A: “Pretty easy — similar concepts. Sand (volleyball) is definitely more difficult in terms of communication and movement, stuff like that. I love the fact that you have to be on your game all the time. You really have to compete one hundred percent with your abilities. You can’t rely on other girls. That’s my favorite thing about it.”

Q: When you originally committed to JU, did you know that sand volleyball was going to be an option there?

A: “I had heard that they played in small tournaments, but I didn’t know it was going to be as big as it is now. It definitely helped in my decision. I loved sand (volleyball) just as much as indoor at that point. The fact that they did compete in some tournaments and had new sand courts definitely helped me make my decision.

Q: What are your strengths as a player?

A: “I think I’ve got a good volleyball IQ, and I work really hard. I think I communicate well on the court. I definitely have a lot to work on. I think that I’m easy to play with.”

Q: What is one part of your game that you would like to improve?

A: “Blocking, that aspect, and getting more comfortable with new teammates.”

Q: How is living in Florida different than Texas?

A: “I think just getting out and experiencing something other else than the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The beach really brought me here. The weather is great and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this.”

Q: You were quoted as saying that opponents were intimidated when they play FSU, but you managed to defeat Florida State several times in your career. What made you want to transfer to Florida State?

A: “I just think the reputation they have is awesome. Like I said before, they are intimidating. A year ago, I was competing against them. When the opportunity came up for them to recruit me, everybody was jealous. It’s an awesome opportunity.”

Q: What are you getting your degree in and why?

A: “Sports management… I don’t really know what I want to do with it yet, but anything involved with sports I’m interested in.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself this season?

A: “Just improve my game. Win a national championship, definitely is the main thing. Being an All-American would be a dream of mine as well. I think improving on the little things first on certain aspects of my game will get me to where I want to be. Just being a good teammate, working hard and being a good teammate for some of the younger girls are some of my goals.”

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals that you can’t play without?

A: “No, I’m pretty boring. I listen to some upbeat music. I guess my only superstition is if something is successful after I do it a couple times, I’ll try to do that throughout the same tournament with that partner.”

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: “Anything breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, anything like that.”

Q: If you could go on vacation, where would you go and why?

A: “New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to go there. I looked into studying abroad there.”

Q: You competed in the AVCA National Pairs Championship twice, how does that motivate you going forward?

A: “It really does. Our success wasn’t as good as we thought it would be there. With the resources we have here, the coaches, and the players, that’s what we work our whole season for. Being there and seeing them compete at such a high level is something I’ve been striving for forever. It’s an awesome experience to be there, and I think being there with this team would be even better, so I’m really excited about it.”

Q: In the summer, you train and compete back in Texas. Do you compete year round?

A: “I’ve played indoor in the fall and then sand in the spring. Over summer, I’ll play in a couple tournaments. It really hasn’t been that big yet in Texas, but I think it’s starting to get there. I definitely try to train a couple times a week (over summer) with a couple collegiate players, but not as much as I’d like to. I’m hoping after this I’ll start to travel more and go play in some other tournaments.”

Q: Who is an athlete or person that you look up to?

A: “Kerri Walsh. She’s a blocker as well, and the best beach volleyball player, along with Misty May. She’s someone I look up to. She won every single AVP tour this summer, and is a four time Olympian. She’s somebody I definitely look up to. With all of her success, balancing a celebrity-like lifestyle yet still being able to have a family and being successful in volleyball I think is really something to look up to.”

Q: What are your future aspirations? Do you plan to pursue a career in sand volleyball?

A: “I do. I’m hoping to play as much as I can and travel the world with my partner and see how well I can do. From there, maybe be a sports marketer or something like that, but playing as long as I can is my biggest goal.”

Q: What do you like to do on your days off?

A: “Sleep, hang out with friends and catch up on TV shows.”

Q: What TV shows are you watching now?

A: “It’s called ‘Once Upon A Time,’ as lame as it is. The whole team is getting into it, so I started to get into that.”

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