Senior outside hitter Lexi Williamson is busy making every improvement possible this offseason to ensure a successful campaign on the Mission Campus. From daily workout videos to practicing with her younger sister, an incoming freshman on the Regis University volleyball team, the Carlsbad, Calif. native is determined to finish her final campaign on a high note.
As her summer workouts continue, Williamson gave www.santaclarabroncos.com her thoughts on the team's offseason growth, her most grueling volleyball match ever and funniest moment during her time on the Bronco volleyball squad.
By: Vince Menon '14
SCB: When did you first take up volleyball?
AW: Not a lot of people know this about me, but I was a competitive dancer for 11 years before I even knew how to play volleyball! I also played soccer for eight years throughout those dancing years. Dancing really helped develop my balance and coordination at a young age, which helped me excel in my future athletic career. I gave up dancing and soccer at 13, and committed all of my extra time to volleyball, and that's how it has been ever since.
SCB: How are you keeping up your training during the summer?
AW: Our athletic performance coach, Ryan Leake, set up a great website for us to use this summer and there is different workout posted everyday. Each exercise is linked to a YouTube video which makes the website so convenient and easy to use. I have also been working out with my sister, who will be a freshman on the Regis University volleyball team in the fall, and we are pushing each other to get stronger and faster. I live about two miles from the beach, so I enjoy running to the beach and doing stair work. Our team improved our athletic training level immensely over winter and spring
SCB: What part of your game would you like to further develop for next season?
AW: As an outside hitter, we pretty much need all the skills of volleyball besides being able to set, so I would like to get better at all aspects of my game. In particular, I would like to improve my blocking because I have never been a big threat as a blocker. I improved during the offseason and want to get better so I can be a threat on the left side of the court! As with every skill in volleyball, the only way to get better is through repetition. Our coaches are very helpful in offering extra help if we ask for it, which is what I will be doing.
SCB: How good can Santa Clara volleyball be next year? What needs to happen for the team to reach and exceed its potential and expectations?
AW: We have the potential to be GREAT and I am so excited for this coming season! We have worked so hard on and off the court that our only option is to be great. For the team to exceed our expectations, every single girl on the team needs to buy in to our system and the direction we are going. With the whole team on board, great things can happen. I'm stoked because of how much we improved during the offseason, and I can't wait for our transfers and freshmen to contribute!
SCB: What's the longest match you've ever played in? Most hours in a day or weekend?
AW: The longest match I have ever played in was my junior year at Cathedral Catholic High School (current teammate Taylor Milton was in that match as well) and we played Corona Del Mar HS in the California state playoffs. We were down 0-2, and we won the third game 38-36 (a volleyball goes to 25 and you must win by 2…) and we ended up winning the next two games to win the match!
The most volleyball that I've played was my senior year of club at the Junior Olympic Tournament in Miami. All of my teammates would agree with me that JO's is a grind because we play on average four 3 out of 5 matches a DAY for four days straight!
SCB: What is the most fun location you've ever played at?
AW: Hawaii! I was injured during our first tournament our freshmen year but it was so exciting because of the huge fan base in Hawaii. It was my first college tournament, so everything that was going on was magnified and we all had so much fun!
SCB: How does the team get along and what is your funniest moment involving the team? How do your teammates support and push you to keep improving?
AW: We all get along really well and spend a lot of time together outside of volleyball. We have had so many funny moments but I will never forget the day we accidentally left Megan Anders at the grocery store in Fresno out of all places. We didn't realize we forgot her until the whole team was back at the hotel. My teammates are super supportive of everyone, whether it's cheering each other on in our workout competitions, or working hard on the court and getting better at volleyball. I personally get motivated when my teammates get better because it pushes me to get better.
SCB: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
AW: My parents. My dad has taught me a lot about life, and most importantly, how there needs to be a balance in everything I do…"You cannot serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24). He has continually helped me set my priorities straight, and has given me the opportunity to have so many unique experiences. My mother is the most kind and patient person in the world, and the balance between my parents creates a great environment at home. My mom dedicates more hours in the day to her three kids and four pets than she does herself, and I hope I can be like her one day!
SCB: If you could meet any volleyball player, past or present, who would it be and why? Which non-volleyball would you like to meet?
AW: I would like to meet Kerri Walsh. I met her briefly a few years ago at an AVP tournament, but I would like to chat with her. She seems to have volleyball figured out pretty well. I would also really like to meet Ellen DeGeneres. I watch her show everyday and no matter what sort of mood I am in, I always find myself cracking up to her show!
SCB: If not volleyball, which sport would you have played and why?
AW: Tennis! I wanted to play tennis in high school, but it was during the same season as volleyball. I took tennis lessons when I was younger and I was pretty good at it! I still play occasionally on campus -- bring it on Katie Le! (we're friends). Tennis is so graceful and fun to watch.
SCB: When you're not playing volleyball, what are you doing? What do you like to do in your free time?
AW: I love to travel and snowboard. I've been all over the map and I can't wait to visit new places. I love visiting my Aunt Suzie, who lives in a small town in Baja, Mexico. Volleyball gave me the opportunity to play in Croatia, Italy and Slovenia in high school. I went to China with teammate Kaleigh Durket last summer with the Leavey School of Business, and I had the opportunity to go on an immersion trip to Peru this past Christmas break through the Kolvenbach Solidarity Program.
What's my next destination? Well, next summer is my grandparents' 50th anniversary. Since my grandma was born and raised in Italy, I am hoping my family can go with my grandparents to see the small town where she grew up!
SCB: What is one thing you wish the SCU community knew about the SCU volleyball program that they might not know?
AW: We can all beat anyone in a double-jump (where you rotate the jump rope around twice in one jump) contest.