Nov. 7, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Broncos climbed to a 7-3 West Coast Conference record after completing the season sweeps of Pepperdine, LMU and Gonzaga over the past week. Manhattan Beach, Calif., native Taylor O'Brien checked in with SantaClaraBroncos.com to talk about the team, becoming a starting libero and football.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: How is the season going thus far?
Taylor O'Brien: In the beginning, we had a lot of good wins against big teams like Arizona, and Long Beach State. We had a little rough patch with a couple of losses but we turned things around against Pepperdine and LMU. We worked really hard to have a successful weekend and we did.
SCB: Why Santa Clara?
TO: I really loved the team, the coaches are really nice and its family oriented. I just loved the environment and the school is beautiful. It's so nice. It seems so much bigger than a lot of other schools in the area but at the same time, it's the perfect size.
SCB: How did you get involved with volleyball?
TO: I started playing when we moved to Southern California and I played ever since. It was a really big deal in SoCal. Everyone played volleyball.
SCB: So, SoCal or NorCal?
TO: There's such a big NorCal/SoCal rivalry. It's so funny. I mean I love both and since I was used to moving, it wasn't too hard to make the change. But I absolutely love SoCal.
SCB: Where were you before you moved?
TO: I lived in Sacramento. This area of California is basically where I grew up. We moved around a lot because of my dad. I was born in New York and we'd switch between there and Sacramento during the year.
SCB: What's it like having a dad who was a professional athlete?
TO: I was really young, so I don't remember everything. It was fun. I have some great memories of going to the games. I didn't really think much about it but to this day people at school ask me about him. If I'm out somewhere, they'll ask "Oh that's your dad?" and my friends are always surprised that people are asking me about him. It's funny to talk to them about it because people that I've met out here from back east are really into the Jets and they know everything and I'm like "I really don't know the answers to half these questions!"
SCB: What is it like becoming the starting libero in your senior season?
TO: It's really exciting and a really good feeling. It's not much different from my former position of right back defensive specialist, but now I'm a little more vocal in organizing the back row. I'm not really a loud person, but I do it in my own way.
SCB: So, what is it about volleyball that you enjoy so much?
TO: The team aspect. It's not just about you. You can rely on everyone around you. You have everyone there supporting you.
SCB: What's your favorite color?
TO: Blue. Every shade of blue. Royal blue, navy, but just not baby blue.
SCB: What's your favorite food?
TO: I have so many favorite foods, but I'm going to go with hot dogs. Michelle Luxton and I just love hot dogs. There is a really good vender on Santana Row. It's so good.
SCB: How would you describe the team?
TO: As a whole? I would say funny. Everyone is funny in their own way. We just have so many funny stories.
SCB: What kind of advice would you give to the freshman this year?
TO: To not give up and to work really, really hard.
SCB: Where around campus is your favorite place to relax?
TO: I love going to the pool. Freshman year I scheduled everything around it. I was at the pool all the time. It was kind of hard last year not having spring quarter at the pool. I had to find other options, but I saw the new pool and it looks so nice. I can't wait.
SCB: What do you do to unwind?
TO: I like to hang out with my friends, go to the beach, watch movies, eat, watch TV, eat some more. [laughs] Food is gone in two seconds when put in front of our team. You have to get first in line.
SCB: If you were not a volleyball athlete, what would you be?
TO: I've grown up around football, so I would want to be a football player. In eighth grade, football was the thing to do and we'd always play and win!