Q&A with Junior Setter Milosh Stojcic
After leading the team in assists the past two seasons, Milosh Stojcic looks to build upon his success with an impressive junior campaign. The 6-foot-3 setter is a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) All-Academic honoree for the UC San Diego men's volleyball team who strives for success on and off the court. With an upcoming stretch of three matches in eight days, Stojcic took time to answer questions about volleyball, school, and even the best breakfast burrito in San Diego.
Q: Stojcic is an interesting surname, especially considering you were born in Torrance. What kind of family background do you have?
STOJCIC: Both of my parents were born in Serbia and immigrated to the U.S. to attend graduate school at Virginia Tech in the early 90's. My mom is from Novi Sad and my Dad is from Kikinda.
Q: You are listed as 6-foot-3. Did any of the other sport coaches in high school try to recruit you to try out for their teams? Did you play any other sports and what ultimately attracted you to volleyball?
STOJCIC: I actually played basketball from kindergarten through my sophomore year of high school. After my freshman year of basketball, my friends on the team and I wanted to pick up a spring sport for fun so we wouldn't have to do off season basketball conditioning and training. We all joined volleyball and had a blast during that first season and joined club right after the high school season. I picked volleyball over basketball because my friends and I just so much fun playing and I didn't want to balance two sports.
Q: The team graduated only two seniors last season. How has that helped the continuity of the team coming into this year? What kind of leadership role have you taken with the younger players?
STOJCIC: It was really nice coming back to school in the Fall knowing we had so many experienced guys returning. It helped the efficiency of our Fall training because we were all on the same page, knew the system Coach Ring likes to run and all we had to do was get the rookies familiar with how we play. I try to set a good example for the younger guys by sticking to our system of play and showing them if they buy in, they can be successful.
Q: In the first six games of the season you have played three top-15 ranked teams including UC Irvine twice. What is it like starting a season with a challenging schedule like that?
STOJCIC: It's a great opportunity for our team. We don't get to scrimmage other teams too often during the fall so starting season and immediately going up against very talented teams is exciting. It gives us a chance to quickly put our training to use and prove to the rest of the conference that we're ready to compete night in and night out.
Q: Being a setter means not getting many chances to hit. Do you ever find yourself wanting to be on the other end of a set?
STOJCIC: Never. I like to think of myself as more of a finesse player so setting suits me better and also, the guys will tell you my swinging ability leaves much to be desired. I have way more fun setting them and watching them crush balls anyways.
Q: How does it feel to set up your teammates for a big kill? What is your favorite play to set and describe what you're analyzing and trying to do in that situation?
STOJCIC: It's so much fun to put up a ball that one of our guys can go up and absolutely hammer into the ground. I love to set long distance go-balls to the left side. If the pass is pushed far to our right, I'll try and get my feet there and just chuck it across the court because the opposing middle will almost always be a step late and there's going to be seams for our outside to attack.
Q: Every volleyball player likes their sets a little differently. What is it like building that timing with each player on the team?
STOJCIC: It's challenging but I’ve had a couple years to build up a rapport with most of the guys and I've learned the tempo and location they need to be able to swing away against a well formed block. It takes a lot of reps in every type of scenario to feel 100 percent in sync with a player.
Q: Living in San Diego gives you easy access to the beach. Do you and your teammates ever go play beach volleyball? How do you like it compared to indoor? Who's the best sand player on the team?
STOJCIC: We organize some games every now and again during Spring quarter. I'm not much of a competitive beach player but I love playing recreationally. Setting on the beach is very different and I enjoy both. Beach setting is fun because you can get away with having the ball in your hands for a longer period of time which changes the type of sets you can make. Tanner is pretty good at hitting, blocking and setting. Passing is a bit suspect, though.
Q: You are studying chemical engineering at UCSD and you listed that you aspire to be an engineer once you graduate from here. What made you choose the major and do you know what you want your focus to be?
STOJCIC: Both of my parents are electrical engineers so I suppose I have some genes for it. Also, as I was researching majors while applying to college, I never saw anything else too appealing so I decided to stick with the family roots. I think I'd like to work in the field of renewable energy or material science.
Q: The artists you listed for your favorite music are Eminem and Kenny Chesney. Those two are pretty far apart on the musical spectrum. What situations do you find yourself listening to each of them? What artist do you use to get pumped up for a game?
STOJCIC: I can listen to Eminem any time, any place. His lyrics are so clever and at times hysterical (also pretty inappropriate, I'll admit that) and he can deliver his lyrics masterfully in all types of unorthodox cadences. Also, the beats that he raps over, particularly on his first three albums, crush anything being put out by todays artists. Chesney is more low key and soothing so I tend to put his music on during a long car ride or in the evening when I'm relaxing trying to finish homework. I'll listen to Eminem, Lil Uzi and Future, to name a few, before matches to get pumped up.
Q: You list in your bio that you love breakfast burritos. Where is the best place to get a breakfast burrito in San Diego? What makes it so great?
STOJCIC: My love for breakfast burritos stems from home in Redondo Beach at a joint called El Burrito Jr. which serves out one of the best burritos I've ever had. In SD however, Harry's in La Jolla and Woody's on the PB boardwalk are both solid options. There's something about scarfing down a breakfast burrito after a morning surf session that is unparalleled, I think it's a Southern California thing.
Previous Triton Q&A Features
Cassie MacLeod (Women's Basketball) December 16, 2016
Natalie Tang (Women's Swimming & Diving) November 18, 2016
Nolan Mac (Men's Soccer) October 13, 2016
Scott Acton (Men's Cross Country) October 6, 2016
Marie Paris (Women's Volleyball) September 16, 2016
Kiera Bocchino (Women's Soccer) September 2, 2016
Nick Alexander (Men's Water Polo) August 23, 2016
Karina Carstens (Women's Cross Country) August 8, 2016
Amanda Colla (Women's Volleyball) July 22, 2016
Palano Twins (Men's Soccer) July 13, 2016
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