Sept. 19, 2013
The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team will play in its final regular season tournament of 2013 as it hosts the Michigan Invitational. The Wolverines open the tournament on Friday morning (Sept. 20) against Marshall. The match starts at 11:30 a.m., and will be played inside Crisler Center. It also will be Michigan's second annual "Block Out Bullying" match. The Maize and Blue will then face Maryland Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena and will conclude play Saturday night (Sept. 21) against Ohio at 7 p.m. This week, sophomore Ally Davis talks about the differences between her freshman and sophomore years, the Block Out Bullying match and the team responding from its first loss.
Q: You saw your first game action after injury this past week at the Texas A&M Invitational. How did that feel?
A: It was a little nerve-racking at first. The first time you step onto the court for the season, there are naturally going to be a lot of nerves. I was a little bit nervous but the team always does a really great job of making sure everyone feels good on the court, so it was fine.
Q: What did the team learn from its first loss to make it better heading into conference play?
A: Coach Rosen said it highlighted the things we need to get better at. It was a good experience in a way. No one wants to lose, but it's kind of a good thing to lose before we get into Big Ten season, which is really important to us. We don't want to lose there but it kind of just showed us what we need to work on like blocking and other things. So it was kind of not a terrible thing that it highlighted what we need to get better at.
» Read: Volleyball's Ally Davis: A Lifesaver
Q: What have been the big differences between your freshman and sophomore seasons?
A: There are a lot of differences actually. I was a complete nervous case my freshman year. Everything I did was totally nerve-racking, but this year it's so much nicer to be more comfortable. I know what the coaches are going to expect, the testing, the practices, and my school schedule. So I am a lot more comfortable with the whole schedule and volleyball and everything unlike freshman year where I felt like I forgot how to play volleyball and I was really nervous all the time. I am a lot more comfortable for sure.
Q: The feature story on you and your sister has been up on MGoBlue for about a month. What has been the reaction from friends and fans?
A: Yeah, it was actually pretty incredible. I was really shocked. So many people were messaging me giving me so much support, teammates, other players here, other athletes here. My friends from home who I haven't even talked to since high school or before high school were messaging me, saying I didn't know you did that and all this stuff. All the support that I got from everyone, alumni, coaches, my team mates, everyone said they were really touched by the story. It was really cool to hear because it was obviously such a big part of my life last year so it was really cool to get all that support from all those different people.
Q: What does the Block Out Bullying match mean to you and your team?
A: Yeah, it's pretty cool to do for kids especially when kids are going through that age when they are getting bullied. That could be a big problem in middle school, elementary school, up to high school. So it's pretty cool to get that match going and last year, I know we showed the things we were made fun of for when we were younger. I think it's a great atmosphere and all the kids are there and it's cool for the kids to see these athletes and that they went through it too and look at them now. They are obviously not being as affected by it, so it's a really cool match.
Previous Q&A: Lexi Erwin (Sept. 12)