FAYETTEVILLE – During Arkansas’ two-week stay in Europe, one student-athlete will be featured each day in a feature titled #13Days13Razorbacks. Each daily feature will include a player Q&A and be linked to the team’s #EuroHogs page on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Day 6 (Sunday, May 25): Junior L/DS Monica Bollinger
This is the sixth feature in a series titled #13Days13Razorbacks in which one volleyball student-athlete per day will be highlighted during the team’s two-week European tour (May 20-June 1). Visit the #EuroHogs central page for continued coverage of Arkansas’ four-country stay which includes stops in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and the Czech Republic. Today’s feature highlights junior Monica Bollinger.
Q: What did you think of the ropes course (Sunday) morning?
Monica Bollinger: It tested my strength but not in terms of how strong I am physically but more how strong I am as a person and how I’m able to overcome fears of heights. Climbing to the top was scary but you can’t stop. You have to keep going and listen to what people are telling you to do. With the slingshot, it was just ‘get up and go’ and let it happen.
Q: The team has taken to doing laundry in their rooms, how is that going?
Bollinger: You get your smelly, volleyball clothes out and fill the sink with water and detergent. Then you just have to squish everything together and then wring it out as much as you can. Then you take them to the shower with the hose to get all the detergent out and then hang it on the line outside. Q: Everything turn out all right? Bollinger: I hope so. I haven’t worn those clothes yet so we’ll find out soon.
Q: Have you traveled internationally before this trip?
Bollinger: No. I mean, I’ve been to Cancun before but I don’t really count that and it was a long time ago.
Q: How much do these matches against international competition help prepare for the upcoming season?
Bollinger: Specifically for me, it’s all about the serve receive aspect of the game. For example, the serving in Europe is so much more intense than it is back in the States. When we’re in serve receive, we’ve come up with some things to say like calling the ball early right off their hand. I think that when we get back and we’re playing teams in the SEC, our serve receive is going to be a lot better than it has been in the past.
Q: What has been the biggest adjustment for you transitioning to the libero position this spring?
Bollinger: Using my voice. When I was playing (defensive specialist) and playing behind Emily Helm, I just let her do her thing and I was backing her up. Now it’s me and others backing me up. I really have to take that leadership role which I’m still learning how to do. It can be tough.
Q: How do you get asked ‘why is that girl wearing a different color jersey?
Bollinger: Pretty often. It’s more like ‘what does that even mean’ or ‘what’s a libero?’ I just say I’m in the back row and get to go in and out freely as much as I want.
Tuesday, May 20 – Breana Jones
Wednesday, May 21 – Danielle Harbin
Thursday, May 22 – Sophie Bethke
Friday, May 23 – Shelby Harper
Saturday, May 24 – Liz Fortado
Sunday, May 25 – Monica Bollinger
Monday, May 26 – Meredith Hays
Tuesday, May 27 – Blakelee Dunagin
Wednesday, May 28 – Adrien Wohlschlaeger
Thursday, May 29 – Savannah Voelzke
Friday, May 30 – Barbara Dapic
Saturday, May 31 – Ana Sofia Jusino
Sunday, June 1 – Summer Morgan
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