Winning WCC is Main Goal For Women’s Volleyball Team

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Senior Anna Berger prepares to slam the ball. As a student-athlete and volleyball team captain, Berger is a leader on and off the court.  Photo Courtesy of USF Athletic Department
Senior Anna Berger prepares to slam the ball. As a student-athlete and volleyball team captain, Berger is a leader on and off the court. Photo Courtesy of USF Athletic Department

This past weekend the USF lady’s volleyball team defeated Santa Clara University 3-0 during the Dig Pink match up. The Dons dominated the game against their longtime rival. With the win, they get their first win in the WCC, which puts them at the top of the conference. But before the game, the Foghorn sat down with team co-captain Anna Berger. The senior shared her goals, what the life of a student-athlete is like and the team’s expectations for the season.

San Francisco Foghorn: What is the normal day like for you during the volleyball season?

Anna Berger: During the season I have weights two days a week, I start at 8:00 a.m. and go until 9:00 a.m. Then I have class during the day, and I’m taking 16 units of classes. The team has practice too and we all try to be there an hour before, so we show up at 2:00 or 2:30 p.m. Practice starts at 3:30 and we stay until 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. Then there’s mandatory study hall for three hours. It’s a busy day but you learn about time management and balancing your schedule; I think that’s very important.

SFF: What are some of your goals for the season?

AB: Win WCC. It’s very obtainable and I think we can do it, working and competing every day in practice. One of the main goals is having a lot of energy and also having fun in practice. The biggest thing is practicing how you play, having competitive energy and having fun in practice is going to benefit us later on. As times get tougher you have to dig deeper.

SFF: You are a captain this year; what’s it like being a captain? Is there extra pressure? How do you handle it?

AB: There’s a lot of responsibility with being a captain on the team. It is an important duty; girls look up at you as more than a teammate. If anything extra is needed with the team or if there are any problems with the team, they come to me. I have to help the team go in the right direction by holding people accountable for their responsibilities and with what they do on the court. Being a senior, people already look up to you on the court and whether you realize it or not your actions affect everyone on the court, which is exciting for me because as captain I can control that and that’s an important part of the game. I don’t think being a captain is more pressure, it’s an exciting role to take on as a player because you can step up and help your teammates go in the right direction. With a lot of experience like myself, I can help my young teammates out.

SFF: Last year was very successful for the team; how does the team plan on matching that success for the rest of this season?

AB: It’s hard because we had a lot of close losses at War Memorial and in our tournaments this year. It’s really important for us to focus on our conference, that’s what we did last year. It’s a big difference losing and winning by a few points, which some people say is luck, but I don’t think it is. When those games flip over, luck goes our way a little. I think we can be a very competitive team this year, despite the fact that our preseason hasn’t gone the way we wanted. We played a lot of really competitive teams and that stands out. And if you win conference then you go to the tournament, that’s our main goal right now. Our conference is competitive but I think we have upside and we have some experienced girls that can bring us far this year.

SFF: How would you sum up your career at USF?

AB: It’s been a big career and a long one but it’s been fun. I’ve gone through a coaching staff change and I really love the new staff. I’ve learned that I am a student athlete and compete a lot but we learn a lot about ourselves too. You make best friends, that’s the most important thing that people miss. You make life-long friends no matter what. My career here keeps going up, there hasn’t been a huge plummet, it keeps getting more exciting, and that’s the best part of being a student athlete.

SFF: Thank you and good luck this season. Go Dons.

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