May 16, 2013
Krista Vansant is coming off an excellent sophomore season that saw her earn All-America Second Team honors, a spot on the All-Pac-12 Team, National Player of the Week recognition, and most recently a nomination for the Female Student-Athlete of the Year in the WESPY's, the awards produced and chosen by the Husky student-athletes themselves. A few weeks into Washington's spring practice season, Vansant talked about how practice has been going and the busy summer schedule ahead.
GoHuskies.com: During the spring season, what parts of the game has the team been working on the most?
>Krista Vansant: One thing that we have been focusing on a lot is making better first contact. Focusing on that before we can go hit and block and dig, we have to put that first contact on the money. So that's one thing that we've really been working on. We've also been working on how we communicate; what we say to each other when someone makes a mistake or when someone does something well. That's something we're getting a lot better at.
GH: When you say first contact you mean the first pass?
KV: Yeah, just making every easy-looking play perfect. So any pass, serve-receive, dig, free ball, anything has to be on the money so we can run quick and we can run the offense a lot faster. We have been setting a lot of quick which makes our block work a lot harder as well.
GH: You guys have a new coach in the mix this spring, how has Coach Cook been into the mix?
KV: Oh, he's awesome. I think he's helping out a lot. He really puts emphasis on a lot of things we haven't put as much emphasis on before, some parts of our serving and the first contact thing and he makes sure that practice goes smoothly, directing us and helping us.
GH: You've been interning in the athletic department this quarter working with social media, how did you get into that?
KV: I got into it because Kelly Holford did it a few years back and she told me that it was a fun, good opportunity. And I just wanted to get a good internship under my belt, because I have no idea what I want to do with my life after volleyball. But it's really awesome and I'm learning a lot about how social media can boost your personal brand, and can make you look better to possible employers. They've asked me to post more with volleyball related things and I'm getting more involved with the volleyball Facebook page, so just posting a lot more inside looks into our program for fans to see how we act off the court.
GH: Have you picked out a major yet?
KV: Yeah, I'm going to double major in Sociology and Psychology. I just got into the Soc major and am going to apply for Psych later. I just like helping people and working with people. I think I still want to stay in athletics somehow whether it's coaching or working with younger, underprivileged kids.
GH: Heading into your junior season, do you feel like you have more leadership responsibilities now than the last two seasons?
KV: Yeah, I think I do. I think it's up to us older ones to speak up and say what needs to be said when we're not doing well and as I'm getting older I'm learning what those things are and what I need to say at certain times. But we also have some fifth year seniors to help with that. I take everything in and I'm trying to say the right things at the right time. I do feel a little more seasoned, I kind of know what to expect now which is nice.
GH: You had a nice progression from your freshman year to your sophomore year; what is the key to continuing that progression into next season?
KV: I think just staying focused and being really mindful during practice and making sure I learn every single day. Not taking any steps backwards and keep pushing forward. It's the same with everyone, I think our team is going to take a big step forward this year. I think we're going to be scary which would be really fun. Don't ever be complacent, just keep pushing myself to be better.
GH: So when the spring season ends what's next?
KV: Well, we're going to Italy, which is going to be really fun. Then after that we come back and have a few days off then we start right back with five days a week of 6 a.m. lifting and conditioning. Then we work camps all day. So the summers are hard but it's fun at the same time because we spend a lot of time with each other and we're pretty entertaining. Then I'll go home for a week and then it's go time, report day. So I'm really excited, it's going to be a fun next few weeks and months.
GH: Have you ever been to Europe?
KV: I have not even been out of the country, I just got my passport in the mail a couple weeks ago. So I'm really stoked.