Q&A with Sylvia Schmidt


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Sylvia Schmidt
Sylvia Schmidt
Courtesy: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios

The UC San Diego women’s volleyball team is having another outstanding season with just two weekends left of conference action before the NCAA Pacific Regional tournament.  UCSD has been ranked the entire season, and has knocked-off five ranked opponents, including the nation’s top team in No. 1 Cal State San Bernardino.  Part of the reason for the success comes from junior middle-blocker, Sylvia Schmidt.  The Cupertino native recently took time to discuss the season and life as a student-athlete on the Triton women’s volleyball team.


Q- With the conference season winding down, what is the team focusing on with the NCAA postseason nearing?

SCHMIDT- Our team is approaching every practice, match, and point the same way. Our goal is to get 2% better each day.


Q- The top six teams in the region hail from the CCAA.  Would you rather face a CCAA team for the third time this year or face a new opponent?

 SCHMIDT- I would like to face a CCAA team again. Our conference has always been extremely competitive, and we have a lot of scouting information on each team. We are prepared to play UCSD volleyball no matter who our opponent will be. 


Q- Senior Day is Friday, November 7 against Chico State.  Do you have any stories/memories to share involving any of the seniors in this years’ volleyball class?

 SCHMIDT- Before our matches this weekend, Cara's (Simonsen) family was nice enough to host our team at their house for lunch. While there, the whole team shared many laughs while playing games like "Zip Bong" and "Samurai." Another fond memory I have with the seniors is going to $2 sushi on Tuesday nights.


Q- After a freshman year at middle blocker, you played both outside and middle last year, and are back to middle this season.  Do you have any preference?  Is there a different approach in each position?

 SCHMIDT- I enjoy playing both middle blocker and outside hitter. There are different roles associated with each position, and I'm glad to play wherever the team needs me. I approached the two positions differently. As a middle, I am constantly moving and everything is fast, so I would listen to songs with a faster beat before the game to pump me up. As an outside, I had to pass and be the release hitter, so I would listen to calming music to allow myself to focus better and be relaxed.


Q- What are some of your favorite warm-up songs?

 SCHMIDT- Disturbia by Rihanna is my favorite warm-up song.


Q- What do you like about head coach Tom Black?

 SCHMIDT- Tom cares about everyone on the team and is an extremely dedicated and hard-working coach. He is very observant in practice, and when we split up into three courts, he seems to be able to see everything on all three courts at the same time. He believes strongly in the Gold-Medal Squared system, and as a result gives very constructive and helpful feedback on the court.


Q- What are some of your favorite non-volleyball activities?

 SCHMIDT- I love to read, play the piano, and play sudoku.


Q- Being from Cupertino, what do you enjoy about northern and southern California?

 SCHMIDT- I enjoy the weather in both northern and southern California. Northern because we actually experience seasons and southern because it's always sunny. I love them both!


Q- What is your major and what would you like to do after graduation?

 SCHMIDT- My major is Management Science, and my minor is Spanish Literature. I intend to work for a couple of years after graduation and then get my MBA.


Q- What are some of your favorites in San Diego?  Favorite place to study, favorite beach, favorite restaurant?

 SCHMIDT- My favorite place to study is Geisel Library. My favorite beach is South Mission Beach. My favorite restaurant in San Diego is Croutons...it is absolutely DELICIOUS!


Denny Harper (Men’s Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008 
Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008

Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008
Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008
Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008
A.J. Kotanjian (Men’s Water Polo) September 2, 2008

Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008

Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008
Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008

Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008

Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008

Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008

Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008

Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008

Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008

Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008

Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008

Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008

Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008

Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008

Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008

Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008

Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008

Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008

Evan Hsiao (Swimming) March 9, 2008

Eric Rubens (Men's Tennis) February 27, 2008

Melissa Ward (Softball) February 20, 2008

Cameron Sprowles (Fencing) February 13, 2008

Kim Hockett (Women's Water Polo) February 6, 2008

Trevor Decker (Baseball) January 31, 2008

Jordan Lawley (Men's Basketball) January 23, 2008

Jason Spangler (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2008

Andrew Skewes (Men's Diving) December 26, 2007

Alexis Gaskin (Women's Basketball) December 17, 2007

Aubrey Panis (Women's Swimming) December 2, 2007

Andrew Hatch (Men's Basketball) November 26, 2007

Kevin Klein (Men's Cross Country) November 12, 2007

Kim Adams (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2007

Ben Miller (Men's Water Polo) October 31, 2007

Alie Avina (Women's Soccer) October 19, 2007

Charity Elliott (Women's Basketball Head Coach) October 15, 2007