Day 7 (Monday, May 26): Senior OH Meredith Hays
This is the seventh 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 senior Meredith Hays.
Q: What do you enjoy most about traveling internationally?
Meredith Hays: I think it can make you a better person knowing the things we do in America aren’t always how things are everywhere else. It’s also good to broaden your horizons. For example, I feel like a lot of the cities in Europe are very clean and the people take care of things better. You can take something good away from that and say ‘this is something we could do better in America’ or ‘this is something we are already doing better.’ It’s nice to meet people from other places and so far, we’ve met so many nice people.
Q: Where had you traveled internationally before this trip?
Hays: I’ve done pretty much everything we’re doing on this trip except for flying in to Vienna, Austria, once. That was beautiful. I’ve done Italy and Maribor before but not Prague and Croatia which are new for me. I’m excited because we’ve gotten to see so much and walk around that by the time you leave, you feel like you’d be able to navigate if you come back.
Q: How cool is it to be able to be in teammate Barbara Dapic’s hometown?
Hays: It’s so awesome because I can only imagine how proud she is that she gets to show off where she grew up. It was cool the first day we were here and she took us to get ice cream and along the way, three girls yelled out ‘Barbara!’ and they ran up. They were all crying and (Barbara) introduced us to them as friends from school. She wasn’t expecting to see them so it was cool. We also ran into her mom and got to see her before we thought we would. It was nice for her to get to show us the place she loves and made her who she is today.
Q: What do you hope the team takes from this trip back to Fayetteville?
Hays: This is definitely not like the season. We’re walking around a lot during the day and then playing at night, or we’re traveling during the day and then playing at night. So it’s really about how much we can focus and compartmentalize to not get lost in the activities. In our last match (against the Slovenian Junior National Team), we didn’t do such a good job of that but we can learn from that to check our level of focus. We’re also playing against teams that play differently than the teams we play in the United States. It’s a bit faster in the States but there are different things that can throw you off or make it more difficult to play international teams.
Q: Have you started thinking about this being the start of your senior season yet?
Hays: Yes, I have! I don’t know if we’ll be able to have one more practice here but I was thinking if we don’t, I’ve had my last spring practice. I thought about that during our last two-a-days but someone pointed out that we’d still practice in Europe. It’s crazy but I’m really excited and blessed that we are able to bring in the upcoming season with this trip. I think it will be good for us.
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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