Dear Volleyball is here with senior Coronado volleyball player Sasha Bolla.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: Talk to me about how fun was LVI? You guys finished third. What were the good parts and what needed improvement?
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@coronado.cougars.volleyball senior Captain Sasha Bolla and sophomore captain Cassie van Oyen are named to the 2018 #lasvegasinvitational All Tournament team. Congratulations! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #lasvegasstrong #dearvolleyball #volleyball #volleyballdefense #volei #volle #vegasvolleyball #pchs #voleibol #volleyballplayer #lasvegasinvitational2018 #volleyballtourney #varsityvolleyball #firstplace #goldmedalists #goldmedal #volleyballlife
SB: We are a really young team, I would say half of the team are underclassmen really exciting so you know just teaching them the ins and out, how the team works and teaching them the team dynamic is really fun. All of us working together is really fun.
So I think that was good. Cassandra is my setter and working with her is really fun. I think something we are going to get better at is trusting each other and communicating with each other because we are all new.
DV: That was the first tournament, you guys have been together for about a week, right?
DV: So things just need to learn how to click, right?
DV: Alot of people know you as a middle blocker. When did you start playing outside and compare the two positions, what you like and what you don't like?
SB: Junior year I started being recruited as an outside by a bunch of different schools so I made that transition. And some coaches were telling me I need to be a well rounded player just in case they needed me to switch, so I started doing that. And this year, for school, I'm mostly an outside hitter so I would say I love both. I don't meet alot of middle hitters that LOVE their position. So I love both...lolol..
DV: That's true in high school you dont meet alot of players that love that position..lolol...
SB: You don't, everyone hates it.
DV: Why is that?
SB: Because its alot of blocking, and its alot of work. But I love that aspect of it.
For the outside though, there's so much you can do on the outside. I love backrow attacks, I'm getting better at that. I love passing. The minute Coach Johnson says 'serve and pass' I run back and go pass first, because I love serve and pass.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: What did playing in the middle blocking position help prepare you to do now as an outside hitter?
SB: It helped with blocking. So I can do my job better (on the outside)... be better at closing the line and then even when I'm drifting.
Because it's frustrating when you're a middle if the outside block drifts (out) so I know that coming in as an outside blocker I need to set the block well, so the middle can close to me.
And then same with running plays I know where the middle is and where she needs to be and I know now what I need to do for my job as an outside hitter.
DV: So the next question is defense.....(laughs)
SB: (laughs) ...Now that's a whole different story....
DV: Middles aren't necessarily known for their defensive skills. So how do you feel about learning and getting better at defense.
SB: It's a new beast I need to learn. And I'm really excited to learn it. Johnson helps me out. I think playing the game is going to help me too with learning what I need to do.
DV: Lots of touches.
SB: Yes, lots of touches.
DV: Why did you start playing volleyball?
SB: I fell in love with the feeling it gives you and the team aspect. The feeling in general of how powerful I felt on the court when playing the game with a team.
I use to play tennis, a single person sport and as fun as it is it's the same thing over and over.
My love for volleyball is because everything is so different.
You know how coaches say "In this situation you need to be here..." but anything can happen. Everyone's different, I haven't met a volleyball player that's the same as somebody else...and I absolutely love that. So I think I fell in love with that too.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: Good. how old were you when you started?
SB: Ooh, I would say 5th or 6th grade so about 12 or 13.
DV: And how tall where you at that age?
SB: 5' 10" I'm going to say.
DV: I was tall for a girl at that age too. Now that you've gone through it what would you tell someone that's at that age...that was that tall?
SB: It's difficult especially when you're just hitting puberty just starting to grow into your body. It's going to hurt alot (laughing) It does get frustrating because you know you're not as coordinated as you want to be...at that time...but as you start growing and stretching and growing into your body more...its so amazing.
So just wait it out, At times its painful, at times its frustrating but its worth it because you'll outgrow those problems.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: I agree, you'll literally outgrow the problems. So talk about your relationship with USA High Performance when did you start?
SB: I love USA High Performance! I started ...either 8th grade or my freshman year.
DV: And where did you travel for your first HP camp, do you remember where?
SB: I went to Michigan with Tehani and Sydney (Berenyi).
DV: Oh that was your first one?
SB: So I went with them..by myself. Syd was like our Mom. I almost lost my boarding pass when we went to Chicago it was a mess. But Sydney kept us under control because Tehani and I were so young at the time.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: What did you learn on that trip? How did your relationship with volleyball either evolve or improve with that trip?
SB: I was among girls who were super passionate about it (volleyball) and who really wanted to play it. They were kind and wanted to meet people just like them who really wanted to play. Tournament play was so much fun because...well because in some college camps there are players whose parents sign them up because for whatever reason the player has to be there.
But at these (USAVHP) you're invited to be there and you chose to go so every single girl wants to be there and they want to win, so its a totally different experience from anything I've ever been to. That's why I love it so much.
DV: Do you think that's a possible goal... for more Vegas players to attend? Or do you think that's realistic?
SB: I think so. You do have to stick with the program. As I kept trying out I made higher and higher teams so that's just a part of the process too. So once you start that process I think its good to stick with it, because you get to know more coaches, and get to know more people.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: What are you studying now? And what are your next steps in regards to college...
SB: I'm thinking about studying law. Because I'm split over becoming a physical therapist or becoming a lawyer. Actually I had a conversation with someone in the airport during a three hour delay who said "I think you should be a medical lawyer". And I said "You know what, that's a great idea."
DV: So be on a hospital staff for cases of litigation...is that what you mean?
DV: So you loved that idea?
SB: I love that idea!
DV: Okay so you're ready to put in the hours and everything?
SB: Yes so I know I'll go to grad school and I've already talked to some schools about what I want to do.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: Would you consider going out of state to go to school?
SB: Oh yes!
DV: Out of state close? or out of state across the country? Or do you have any reservations about going too far?
SB: I mean obviously I prefer being a little closer to home but if I love the school I would be fine with moving outside of my comfort zone.
DV: What has volleyball taught you as far as becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.
SB: I think that's the biggest thing and I'm actually glad that I know about that. I meet a lot of people that when they get into an uncomfortable situation they want to get out of it as soon as possible or don't want to deal with it. And I've learned to stick with it and grind it out and things will be better in the end.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: Name one or two things that make you uncomfortable that you are willing to work on. It could be any kind of aspect that involves the mental process or a physical skill, name one or two things that you think of.
SB: First thing is my confidence I've gotten better. But when I was a freshman I had really low confidence and I've been building that up since then.
Last year I started getting better. This year ...even better but that is something I'd like to improve for myself.
I'm still pretty hard on myself and I'd like to get past that.
...and then being a better leader for my team. I've been with alot of good captains and I've been in the role of supporting my team but I've never been a captain before so I need to learn how to be that leader.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: So you're a captain now, correct?
DV: Coronado has three now...
SB: There are two senior captains and a speaking captain, Cassie is the speaking captain.
DV: So how does that feel? Is it an uncomfortable position now..
SB: It can be sometimes but I know some of the girls look to me for some things...so if my teammate is next to me I can help pull them out of a rut or I can help them with anything.
I don't want them.... I'm not looking down on them or I'm not acting superior to them in any way whatsoever. I just want to be able to help them, I just want to be able to help them.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: So as a leader with the things that you know now what would you tell your younger self?
SB: I would say that you're learning and you need to remember that. And everyone makes mistakes. Because I would get really hard on myself. I look back on games where I would cry after games because I thought I did horrible and I did well. Or I'd look at look at my stats and see that I did fine, but I'd get in my own head so easily. And its a bad habit and a bad thing to do. I mean I know everyone does it but ...
DV: So what would you tell yourself?
SB: I would tell myself...that I don't need to look that closely at my mistakes and its not as bad as I think it is...so...
DV: Just move on...
SB: Just move on...
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: So are you superstitious? Are there things that you have to do before game?
SB: I'm sooo superstitious. (laugh) Kennedi Steele on my team gave me a scrunchy, my first game, and she said "You keep it" because I played so well in our first game ...and I was like, "I'm keeping it. I have to wear it in every single game"...I don't wear my ankle brace to practice anymore because I trust my team but I wear them before games, I have to wear them before games.
Umm... what else...even sports bras are unlucky I wear certain sports bras to certain games.
DV: I know players who do that ...(laugh)
SB: And then...as a team sometimes we do like a team handshake before the game but if we didn't do it the first game and we won and we remember then we won't do it again...if it didn't work the first time ...its okay.
Dear Volleyball interviews Sasha Bolla: Do you think you're the most superstitious on your team?
SB: Oh no! Everyone has their little "thing" Some girls wear like ... wears a black sock and white sock...and other girls have things that they do.
DV: How fun has it been playing for Coronado? They have a long winning tradition as far as volleyball is concerned. how has it been these last few years?
SB: I love playing for Coronado. Johnson really cares about us.
DV: You've played two, three how many years...
SB: Three years. So I've known him or three years. Like you said we have a history of winning and we are really respectful about that...we value that. We carry on our bags that we are Coronado so..I really have loved playing here.
DV: What are your expectations for this year?
SB; So everyone wants to win state obviously. But I think just little things have to come before that.
We can go to the state tournament and win it.
I think the biggest thing now is trust. We have a freshman libero, Cassie is a sophomore, we have other sophomores that start...we have really young girls and...we have a bunch of new girls but we also have a bunch of returners so when you mix.... its going to be rough at the beginning..."Oh I thought you were going to get that ball." Or "no I thought that was mine"...or "I know you have me and I know you were covering me" ..those are going to be the big things to work out.
DV: Right okay and that's a process. So what's next for Coronado..
SB: Durango Fall Classic. That 's going to be exciting because there are going to be a bunch of good teams, a bunch of big teams but good teams. So I'm excited for that. And then we go to a tournament in Aurora, Colorado, that's at the end of the month.
DV: Thank you very much for your time. This has been awesome. We wish you good luck for the season. Thanks Sasha!
SB: Thank you!
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