Five Questions with: Olivia Reed, Abby Cole
Olivia Reed

Nov. 14, 2013

The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team continues its road trip this week with two matches. The Maize and Blue plays at Iowa on Friday night (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. CST at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan then is at No. 9 Nebraska on Saturday night (Nov. 16) at 7:30 p.m. CST at the Devaney Center. This week, junior/sophomore Olivia Reed and freshman Abby Cole answer the five questions, including talking about adjusting class schedules to collegiate volleyball.

Olivia Reed

Q: What has been your favorite volleyball moment in your time at U-M?
A: It was definitely making it to the Final Four but in that process, when we played Stanford, that was the highlight of the run. It was just the excitement. We had been the underdog the whole tournament and playing them again. I think we're always excited to play Stanford now.

Q: You're in the Ross School of Business. How has that been and how has it gone balancing school work and volleyball?
A: It's been a challenge but definitely a rewarding one. I feel like at times it's hard to schedule multiple group projects, but so far, everyone has been very understanding. You definitely need to have good time management but overall it's been a great time.

Q: How would you describe this year's team?
A: I would say this year's team is a fighting team. Every day, we come in and work hard. We take each match one at a time and try to improve each and every day.

Q: Do you have any superstitions or pre-match routines?
A: Not really. I'm not a huge superstitious person. I have to say during the game, Lexi Erwin and I have to fist bump coming out of every timeout.

Q: What was your favorite part about the Brazil trip?
A: I think this is probably everyone's but the food. I loved everything, especially the steak. I ate a lot more red meat than I ever did in my life. I was all very good, especially the pizza bar.

Abby Cole

Abby Cole

Q: What are the biggest differences between high school and college volleyball?
A: Definitely how much is expected of you with everything like school, volleyball, and just the time management. The speed of the game also is a lot faster.

Q: How have you adjusted to classes while competing in volleyball at a high level?
A: It's been tough. At first I thought it was really easy and that it was going well, and then I hit a point where I realized that I have to put so much more time into my studies. It's just a lot different than high school, because I have classes twice a week rather than every day, and my teachers aren't on me because I'm one out of 300 in a lecture hall. It's hard to get used to.

Q: How have the upperclassmen helped out the freshman and their adjustment to college volleyball?
A: They've been super welcoming and really helpful, whether it's been offering to take us grocery shopping or giving us rides anywhere. The most access I have to transportation is my bike, which will only get me so far. We've had a hard time having to rely on them, because we don't like asking for rides and not being able to really repay them. They've been so generous and really welcoming to us.

Q: When did you initially have interest in attending Michigan?
A: I've grown up a Michigan fan. Throughout my whole life I've gone to Michigan football and basketball games because my dad grew up in Ann Arbor and my grandparents still live here. Coming into the recruiting process, I wanted to be open-minded and unbiased, and pick the school that was the best fit for me. The summer going into junior year of high school I narrowed it down to five schools, Michigan being one of them. I went on a couple of visits and it turns out that Michigan was the best fit for me. It's fun because I have pictures of me in Michigan cheerleading outfits when I was two, and it's just meant to be.

Q: You hear about how strong the Big Ten is in volleyball. Going through it for the first time, how strong is the league and did it live up to expectations?
A: From the outside, I always looked at it and thought, "I'm going to be playing in the Big Ten!" It's awesome, and now I'm living it. It's wild, really fun, and exciting, but it's tough. There's never an easy night, but I think we can hang with all of these teams.

• Previous Q&A: Lindsey Lerg (Nov. 6)

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