The Huskies are in their second week of fall practice so it was high time to check in and get an update from senior Jenna Orlandini.
GoHuskies.com: You, Kim and Justice usually are out here early with (Volunteer Assistant Coach Tom Murphy). What types of things are you guys talking about?
Jenna Orlandini: With Murph especially he does a lot of defense. So we get a good dialogue going on what we’re working on and what we need to get better at as a team. So Murph exposes that, and we go into practice that’s something we’re cognizant of; we’re looking for those things and we’re trying to get everyone on the same defensive package.
GH: How would you describe practice so far?
JO: Fast. It’s a lot faster. Everyone’s getting a lot more touches on the ball, and we’re more efficient with what we’re doing. I think it’s a little bit different than what some of the older girls are used to but I think it’s good and we’re getting better. We’re adding in some new drills that I’ve never seen before, and the way we’re getting them done is cool.
GH: What’s one new drill that you’ve had fun with so far?
JO: We do a serve-receive ladder (scoring and ranking players against each other on serves as well as serve receptions), and we’ve never really done that before. It’s usually just a serving ladder, but so we’ll throw that in between certain drills, and I think that keeps everyone on their toes and ready for the next thing, and focused on serving and receiving. We’ve spent a lot of time on serving, and it’s showing. A lot of us have put in a lot of time to get better, and the morning sessions are going really well. Everyone’s focused on getting their serve where it needs to be and putting pressure on the passers on our team, because that’s ultimately what’s going to make us better. It’s really cool to start to see all the hard work pay off. We’re getting better float serves in better spots, it’s really cool.
GH: For today’s afternoon practice, do you know what the plan is yet?
JO: I don’t know exactly what is on the agenda, probably a lot of serving and passing. At the end of practice we’ll get a little six on six going, and that’s really fun because you want to win. But probably still a lot of serving and passing.
GH: What do you like to do in-between the morning and afternoon practices to unwind or pass the time?
JO: I watch a lot of Netflix. We recently found out that there’s wifi we can connect to, so a lot of us are bringing in our laptops and we’re watching TV shows. Currently I’m watching Parks and Rec, so in-between film sessions, lunch or nap sessions, that’s what I’m doing.
GH: Are you rooming with some teammates this year?
JO: Yeah, I’m living with Kylin again this year and Justice Magraw is a new addition to the household. She makes a mean taco salad.
GH: Who do you think could be poised for a breakout season on the team this year?
JO: Probably one of our middle blockers, don’t know which one but hopefully all of them. They are working extremely hard to be available. It’s pretty sweet to see that happen, because our middles can be a threat and they want to be a threat, so they’re getting up in transition, they’re working their butts off to get sets and the setters are giving it to them. The setters aren’t afraid to give them a ball, so I think our middles are doing a really good job.
GH: Volleyball season also means football season and you guys got a tour of the new Husky Stadium last week. What were your impressions?
JO: Wow, let’s put it that way. Walking through that stadium, it is amazing. And it’s so cool that it’s on our campus, it’s right here. Those guys are really lucky and that’s a great facility. We went to the coaches offices, overlooking the field and Lake Washington, and we were just like, “No way is this real!” It’s just amazing, we were walking around saying, “This is so cool, it can’t get better than this!” but then the next thing we’d be like, “Oh my gosh, this is way cooler than what we just saw!” It just keeps getting better, and I think it’s going to be a really good year for them so we’re excited to get to some games hopefully.
GH: Do you have a favorite Husky football memory?
JO: I remember my first Husky football game as a student, I think we had just got back from a road trip and it was raining really hard, but we said yeah it’s raining, and yeah we’re tired but we’re going to go because we don’t get to go to very many of them. I just remember it was so much fun being there with my team in the rain. I was sitting next to Becky Perry just talking football and it was just really fun.
GH: The Los Angeles area hasn’t had an NFL team for a long time so were you much of a football fan growing up?
JO: I’m not really a huge NFL fan, I like watching college football more. My dad is a huge fantasy football guy, and I remember growing up on Sundays he would be like “It’s time for football! It’s time for football!” and if someone on his team didn’t score or he forgot to play someone he would walk around the house getting all mad.
GH: Finally, a couple former teammates of yours, Tamari Miyashiro and Jenna Hagglund have been playing consistently for Team USA this summer, along with Courtney Thompson, of course. How closely have you followed how they’re doing?
JO: I’ve been following a lot and I’m SO proud of them. I mean you just think “They are Huskies, there’s three of them on the team!” And it’s just so cool I played with Tama and Jenna and I know how hard they’ve worked to get there. We’re rooting for them here in Seattle, we want to see them do well, and they’re killing it!