ONE-ON-ONE: Amber Bryant '12
I sat down with Amber Bryant '12 to talk about Dartmouth volleyball's hot start to the season and her special jersey.
I was at Leede Arena Friday night for the game against Cornell. It was a pretty crazy atmosphere. How does that kind of cheering/heckling help you guys on the court?
AB: The crowd is a huge asset for us at home. The gym is such an intimate setting, that kind of noise from the crowd can really give us an edge against the other team.
It was a great comeback. Even when you were down two sets, were you guys still confident about winning?
AB: Yes, we knew we could do it. We just had to work out a few things out.
How did the game against Columbia go on Saturday? What were some highlights?
AB: The Columbia game was definitely not our best. They were a scrappy team and we let them take the first two games. But it was a learning experience; we know we are going to have to work that much harder from here on out.
Everyone is thinking it, so I'm going to ask it. Why do you volleyball players insist on having to huddle together after every point?
AB: [Laughs.] The momentum in volleyball can shift very quickly, so it's helpful to come together and either emphasize the fact that we have the momentum or to kinda slow the game down and refocus to get the momentum back.
What would you say to someone if they told you that you don't need to celebrate after every point?
AB: "Yes you do."
Why does your position get to wear a different colored jersey than the rest of the team?
AB: The libero wears a different color jersey. A libero is an all-defensive player who can sub in and out of the game between points without using a substitution. But someone on the sidelines keeps track of when the libero goes in and out so the other colored jersey helps them keep track of where the libero is.
Does it make you feel like you're in control when you're on court?
AB: I really don't notice the other colored jersey.
Well I do. Who has the hardest spike on the team?
AB: [Laughs] I'm not sure, everyone who plays the front row can really hit the ball when they want to.
Do girls ever feel bad if they spike one into somebody's face like in "Meet the Parents"? Or are you trying to do that every point?
AB: No, I'm sure that's a great feeling when they nail someone in the face, at least I know I would enjoy it.
I always feel bad for you guys when you have to dive on the hard floor to make saves. Do the kneepads actually help? Or would it be better to get some fuzzy sweatpants?
AB: The kneepads help a lot usually; fuzzy sweatpants would probably just get really gross anyway.
You guys are off to a great start this year. How pleased are you with the way the team is performing?
AB: I'm really excited about our team this year. We have the potential to go all the way, we just have to keep working hard. I'm so proud of what we've done so far, but these coming weeks are the important ones.
What have been the keys to your early season success?
AB: We have a lot of experience on the court and that has kept our confidence high throughout the season so far. In addition the freshmen have continually stepped up and contributed and we're all only going to continue getting better which is an exciting thing.
What would make this season a success for you? What are your expectations?
AB: Ivy League champions.
What do you want to say to the fans to get them back out to Leede Arena for your next home game? Can they make it the toughest place to play in the Ivy League?
AB: Absolutely, having the fans there especially having them there early in the game is a huge advantage for us. We love the support and creating that kind of atmosphere only makes us play better and our opponent play worse.