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!