The UC San Diego women's volleyball team is ranked 3rd in the nation with a 14-1 record. The Tritons are one of the best serve and receive teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and part of that can be attributed to senior defensive specialist Karen Reis. The Bakersfield native is second on the team with 23 aces and averages 1.53 digs per set and a .921 reception percentage. Reis recently took time to discuss the current season and life as a student-athlete on the Triton volleyball team.
Q: UCSD is off to another strong start this year, with wins against two ranked opponents. Is there something different about this year's team than the teams you have been on in the past?
REIS: This year's team is very dedicated to getting better each day mentally and physically. We have been holding each other accountable to making changes and moving on to the next play better than we ever have. We have also been getting more and more confident as individuals and as a team.
Q: You've played with some UCSD greats along the back row. Have you gotten any tips from teammates or former teammates?
REIS: We don't really coach each other, but we help each other out by talking about who likes to hit what and what to watch for.
Q: This year, like the previous years under Tom Black, the Tritons lead the CCAA in service aces. Which UCSD servers do you like to see serving with the match on the line?
REIS: Honestly that's a tough question. I know each one of us is capable of nailing our serve with the match on the line.
Q: How do you feel the depth of this year's team will help as the year progresses through the postseason?
REIS: Everyone is competing with each other really hard in practice, which makes everyone better. I think we have greater depth this year than any other year, and the best part is that we all support each other when it comes to game day. We know that everyone is capable of contributing on the court at anytime.
Q: What would you like to do with your Cognitive Science major?
REIS: Good question... I'm kind of going process of elimination and I know I don't want to do research as of right now, so I guess there are a bunch of other possibilities.
Q: What has been your favorite class you have taken at UCSD?
REIS: COGS 102C...I took it last Spring and each group had to pick something to design/redesign. My group chose to redesign the dorm desk. We had to interview people about their opinions and also get them to test our prototypes. It was an exciting process and I had a really fun group to work with (Katy and JoJo!) which was probably the best part!
Q: What other Triton sports do you enjoy attending?
REIS: I actually like going to watch all of the sports here! A lot of the teams have been coming out and supporting us this season (which is greatly appreciated) so we will definitely return the favor.
Q: Do you have any plans after graduation?
REIS: As of right now I will be coaching two teams for Vulcan Volleyball club (12s and 13s) next year. I don't really have any other plans set besides that.
Q: What is your favorite song to hear during pre-game warm-ups?
REIS- I'm not the biggest music person. This year is actually the first year I've ever requested a song to be put on the warm-up tape and I don't even remember which one it was. Tom asked me the same question while we were at a conference together my sophomore year... My answer was Disney songs and I'm pretty sure he lost a little respect for me that day.
Q: UCSD homecoming is approaching on October 17. This is also the same date the Tritons host a rematch with Cal State San Bernardino. Do you know if any of your former teammates will be attending?
REIS: I'm already excited for Alumni Day!!! I know that Hannah, Amber (and Amber's parents), Casey, Nicole, Lauren, Becka (and Jarrod), Michelle, Kmart, Carp, and Natalie are all coming for sure. Some of the girls who graduated the year before I came to UCSD are coming too!
Q: The Tritons have a road match on Halloween this year. Has there been talk of anyone dressing up on the road trip?
REIS: Haha nope! Hopefully there will be a ton of candy on the trip though.
Q: If you could play another sport at UCSD, what would you choose?
REIS: Hmmmm...I would chose soccer with a minor stipulation that I got to practice juggling the ball all practice.
Q: When not playing volleyball, what do you like doing in your spare time?
REIS: I really enjoy hanging out with the team as well as other friends and family... Game nights, smore nights, MUDDY BUDDY nights, BBQs... I like that kind of hanging out instead of going to the movies or just going out in general. I also enjoy coaching a lot!
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