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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the Week: Paige Weber

    Editor’s Note: The Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Kara Bauman caught up with UA sophomore setter Paige Weber after she was named MVP of the CSUB Invitational tournament this past weekend – her second in three tournaments. Weber discussed her awards, team chemistry and being a fidgety sleeper.

    Wildcat: What’s it like being named MVP twice after only three tournaments?
    Paige Weber: Honestly, it’s been really awesome. I’m really flattered to win those awards. I think it gives me something to strive for now because I have been recognized for that. I think it kind of puts pressure on me to perform like that all the time, but at the same time it’s a challenge, and I love being challenged. Having the challenge of performing at that level every game will obviously benefit the team and, in turn, will benefit me individually as a player.

    W: When I first told you about the (Daily Wildcat Athlete of Week) award, why did you seem so surprised?
    PW: I mean, I don’t know what the criteria is or how they pick who gets the award. Like I said earlier, winning MVP (at the Cal State Bakersfield Invitational tournament) is awesome, but I don’t think of what I do as something that’s worthy of being named athlete of the week or anything like that. I never think about that stuff. When people win awards, I don’t think about it like, “”I need to do this in a certain way so I can win this or do that.”” I just think, “”I have to do this for me and for my team.”” It’s what I’m supposed to do. So it’s surprising to me when people say congratulations because I’m like, “”For what? Doing what I’m expecting myself to do?””

    W: Who on the court do you feel the most chemistry with?
    PW: With this past tournament, I kind of felt it with everyone. On the court, and obviously off the court, our team has great chemistry. It’s not a big surprise because we’re all good friends. I always have had it with Tiff (outside hitter Tiffany Owens), but progressively the chemistry between me and everyone on the court is starting to mold together. So I guess I can basically say everyone now more so than after the first tournament.

    W: How have the practices changed since last year?
    PW: Our practices have become more team-focused. Last year, we did a lot of individual work – not that we don’t do a lot of individual work now – but at the end of practice we do a lot of six-on-six and drills, we work with our rotations and our lineup in every practice. Whereas in the past, maybe the first few practices of the week had been more individual skill-work and less focus on the team. And then as we moved closer and closer to playing, they started doing more team stuff to get us ready for games. Now, we do team stuff every day for at least 45 minutes to an hour. So it’s a lot more focused on us actually performing as a team, then taking those individual skills and putting them on the floor.

    W: How long have you been playing volleyball?
    PW: I started playing club when I was 12. I don’t know if that’s considered to be competitive – not saying that a 12-year-old can’t play at a competitive level – but I guess that’s when I first decided that I was going to play volleyball.

    W: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
    PW: Oh dear. Uhh, I don’t know. What’s one thing people don’t know about me … Hmm … I talk in my sleep. A lot (Laughs).

    W: I do, too. I actually used to sleep walk.
    PW: Oh that’s so funny. (Middle blocker) Kaylen (Bannister) used to also; she was telling us some funny stories about that. I can’t match that, but I’m definitely a fidgeter. I’ll throw fits in my sleep and not realize it. And I’ll wake up and it’s like an explosion on my bed.

    W: An explosion on your bed?
    PW: Yeah, like, I’ll go to sleep and my bed is nicely made and then when I wake up, and I have like, four pillows on the floor and my blanket is completely flipped inside-out and I’m like, “”What the heck?”” Or I’ll go to bed wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and I’ll wake up and won’t have either of them on. I’m the weirdest person when I sleep – and I never remember any of it.

    W: I definitely wake up naked sometimes, so I can relate.
    PW: Isn’t that the weirdest thing? I wake up and try to remember what I was thinking about or what I was dreaming that could possibly do that. I don’t even know.

    W: What is the theme song to your life?
    PW: Oh gosh. I’m so bad at picking music because I listen to everything. Let me think about this for a minute. The theme song to my life … It would probably have to be “”Girls Just Want to Have Fun”” by Cyndi Lauper.

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