Five Questions with: Freshmen Cindy Zhou, Gabbie Bulic
Cindy Zhou

Oct. 17, 2013

The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team hits the road to face a pair of nationally-ranked Big Ten opponents this weekend. The Maize and Blue visits Madison, Wis., to play No. 15 Wisconsin Friday night (Oct. 18) at 7 p.m. CDT inside the UW Field House. The Wolverines then face No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday night (Oct. 19) at 7 p.m. CDT in the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. Freshmen Cindy Zhou and Gabbie Bulic talk about their adjustment to college classes and the differences between high school and college volleyball.

Cindy Zhou

Q: What have been the biggest differences between high school and college volleyball?
A: I'd probably say the pace of the game. The speed is just so much faster in college, and you are forced to pick it up really quickly. But I think that's a good thing.

Q: How have you adjusted to college classes while competing in volleyball at a high level?
A: It definitely is a lot to handle, but we have so many resources like Tommy (Jones), the Academic Center and tutors that help you manage everything. The coaches also understand that we have a lot going on, so all the people at Michigan are willing to help you figure out what you need to do.

Q: Assistant coach Erin Virtue is your position coach, is from the same state as you and recruited you. Talk about your relationship with her?
A: I love Erin. She's one of the best setter coaches, probably the best setter coach. It's awesome to work with her every day, because I know she's making me better and she definitely was big in the recruiting process. I love working with her.

Q: The plan is to redshirt this year. What are the big things you are working on in practice for the future?
A: A lot of what I've been working on is consistency. Especially as a setter, having to work with all new hitters is a big change. Since I'm redshirting this year, I'm using this year to really work on not only my setting but also my defense and blocking and getting it up to the level for the college game.

Q: How has it been to work with the other setters on the team?

Gabbie Bulic
A: I love working with Lexi (Dannemiller) and Carly (Warner). It's awesome having other people who know exactly what you're going through all the time, and they're both people I can talk to and relate to, and are really helpful. They're really good mentors for me in my position.

Gabbie Bulic

Q: What have been the biggest differences between high school and college volleyball?
A: Definitely the pace of the game, the speed is probably the main thing. And everyone is a lot bigger.

Q: How have you adjusted to college classes while competing in volleyball at a high level?
A: It took me a little while. The first two weeks of school were kind of a big change for me, but after that I figured it out. Now there is some balance, so it's nice having a routine.

Q: How have the upperclassmen helped out the freshmen and their adjustment to college volleyball?
A: I love the upperclassmen. They help so much. My locker is actually between (Lexi) Erwin and (Jennifer) Cross, so I love being next to them. They help you out with anything you need, or if I need any advice, I can totally go to them.

Q: When did you initially have interest in attending Michigan?
A: It was my junior year, actually. My speech teacher played baseball here, and I was in his speech class and we had to do a presentation on universities and I chose Michigan. And my friend actually goes here. I talked to her about it and I ended up e-mailing the coaches.

Q: Do you have any pre-match routines or superstitions?
A: Not for volleyball, I've never really had any. For basketball I had some, but not for here. For basketball I wore the same headband, washed my shoes, I took a nap before every game, ate the same food, it was insane.

• Previous Q&A: Kelly  Murphy

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