Written by Grace Vickers
The transition from being an underclassman on the court to an upperclassman is a sizable change. And this change does not come without the onset of many responsibilities.
The expectation is that as a junior or senior athlete on the floor, you know exactly what is going on at all times and what needs to be done to put your team in the right position to win. Becoming a leader physically is one thing, but it is another to become an all around leader in a sport like volleyball that is filled with ups and downs. Taylor Milton, a junior outside hitter for Bronco Volleyball has stepped into these very shoes.
She is a mature, well-spoken Communication major who has brought a whole new level of leadership to her team. Milton (TM) answered a few questions about her new role and the 2013 season thus far.
SCB: How are the freshmen adjusting to the Bronco volleyball style and the team in general?
TM: The freshman are working hard everyday, learning the style of the game here and how we function as a whole. At the same time, there is a ton of new information being taught to the whole team so they are not alone when it comes to adjusting and molding together. I think having such a large group of freshmen really helps our team. It forces us to put in a real effort towards all of them and engage so we can all be one and comfortable with each other. Its definitely not easy, but our team as a whole has great compatibility together this year on and off the court.
SCB: What are you most looking forward to about the 2013 season?
TM: I am definitely most excited to start playing against other faces and talent across the net. Preseason gives us a chance to travel to new places and play top teams out of conference that we wouldn't get a chance to play otherwise. Last year our conference was really good as well, and is only getting better so it'll be exciting to see how well our team will match up against all of them this year.
SCB: You were named as an All-WCC Honorable Mention last season. What are some of your personal goals this season?
TM: I have a lot of smaller tactical changes I have been working hard on like my serve, blocking and defense in order to become better overall. On a larger scale I am hoping to contribute and raise my statistical numbers and level of play consistently across the board in order to help us win more games especially against the tougher half we will face.
SCB: How was playing at Hawaii? Were you pleased with your team's performance at the tournament?
TM: The booing and cheering from the crowd was absolutely awesome. Made every point that much more exciting to be a part of win or lose. It made me realize that that's one thing I miss most about playing at smaller school. Playing teams like UCLA and Hawaii, regardless of how we performed, gave us an opportunity to test out and see that we are made of. That just goes to show how much potential we have still to come. Truthfully, I still am bummed about losing the UCLA match, only because by the end of the weekend I saw us play so much better volleyball. Hawaii could've definitely been a win for us as well.
SCB: What is your favorite thing about preseason tournaments?
TM: Preseason all around is the best because all you have to focus on is volleyball, and no extra school work or outside distractions. Traveling to places to play that we would never go with our friends or families is another nice part of the experience. This year going to Hawaii was by far my favorite part of preseason because when we weren't in the gym we were getting a little taste of paradise!
SCB: What is your outlook on WCC play this year? Will it be a tight battle or do you see some front runners? San Diego has moved up to No. 2 this week.
TM: After keeping tabs on most of the teams in our conference so far in preseason, they have all been upsetting or sticking closely with other great teams in the top half of the charts. This season in my opinion is going to be one of WCC's toughest battles yet. I believe that majority of our teams can give all the top 20 teams a run for their money. That can only mean fingers crossed for another large handful of NCAA tournament bids to bring in a sum of great teams to the tournament from our conference this year.