1-on-1 with Elisa Scudder '14

by Ester Cross | 8/12/13 10:00pm

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How has the team and its philosophy, changed since you were a freshman?

ES: I came in under a different coach, Ann Marie Larese. She had been the only coach of the program since we started in 1994. Now, Erin Lindsey is our head coach, Jose Lugo is our first assistant. And, I am the only person left from the team that was on freshman year.

We've gotten amazing recruiting classes these past two years. Our second team's class was just voted one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. It's really moving forward at such an awesome pace that I am kind of excited to see what happens in the next four years after I graduate. I think these past few classes have been great because of all the hard work and effort they have put in. Our coaches are trying to recreate the volleyball program and that obviously starts with the freshmen and the new girls coming in.

What is Erin Lindsey's strategy and how has she changed the team's atmosphere?

ES: She really plans to take Dartmouth to the next level in terms of our program. We've never won an Ivy League championship and we've always been seen as maybe less serious as some of the other programs in the Ivy League. She's working really hard to change that. I think that now we are functioning a lot more like a cohesive unit of girls who are all pushing each other to become better. I think before we felt a little more disjointed or really hierarchical in that the seniors have all the power and it goes down from there. I think that's really shifted now.

What do you see as your role on the team?

ES: We have eight incoming freshmen and five sophomores, so we're a really young team. I think one of the roles that I play is trying to help these girls through their first season, making sure they're okay or they are getting everything, making sure that everyone understands what our goals are, what page we are on.

If I can get quick side outs and have us in a really good defensive blocking position, it will help alleviate a lot of pressure from our defense, help them get better passes, help us run our offense better. I think that will really help us get into a good position to win some more games this year.

After last year's 1-13 Ivy League record, how will you measure improvement this year?

ES: Our sole focus all winter, all spring, all summer is just improving that. We've worked through a lot of turmoil as a team last season. We had a lot of young girls playing. We fell through on our leadership and we let things fall apart. Everyone realizes that and we've all worked so hard these past three terms to put ourselves in great physical shape. We've really pushed our volleyball knowledge and the way we look at the game. Even just throughout the spring, we were light years better than we were in the fall.

Is there a tradition before each game?

ES: We require girls to be in the locker room around 40 minutes before we have to go on the court. It's really fun to be in the locker room together, rocking to music and dancing. We like to be together as a team before and talk each other up, help each other focus in. It is a great environment right before, when everyone's looking forward to the game. You can feel the energy.

What is your favorite song that you play in the locker room?

ES: It changes a lot. We usually listen to pretty loud popular hip-hop or dance music, stuff you might hear going out. It's loud and it's fun and gives you energy. It's not really a particular song, but that kind of vibe.

If you were to play one other sport besides volleyball, what would it be?

ES: I've actually never played any other sport except volleyball, so that's a tough question. I would probably play tennis. Tennis is kind of like volleyball. There are some similar aspects and the strategy would really intrigue me.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: Aug. 13, 2013

**The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Scudder has totaled 56 blocks.*