The Cal Poly volleyball team lost to UC Santa Barbara 3-0 Saturday and gave up a chance to earn the top Big West Conference spot in the process. Despite the loss, the Mustang Daily was able to catch up with freshman Kylie Atherstone, an outside hitter for the volleyball team.
Mustang Daily: While I don’t want to drudge up your loss, how do you feel about the team’s performance on Saturday?
Kylie Atherstone: It was pretty obvious to me that we didn’t come out ready to win. We weren’t ready to face them. They came out ready for revenge after we beat them so badly in the last game. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember all that much about it. I was pissed off the whole time. I don’t want to remember.
MD: So during games, your position is called an outside hitter. What is the main job of that position?
KA: I play opposite the setter, and since I am a left-hander, it’s easier for me to hit the ball into the right side of the opposing court
MD: How did you end up coming to Cal Poly?
KA: I was originally going to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, near San Francisco, after graduating from Pleasant Valley High School. When the volleyball coach left to go to Cal Poly, I followed him here. Coach Jon Stevenson is the one who originally recruited me.
MD: Did you get any scholarships based on your volleyball experience when you enrolled here?
KA: Oh yeah, I have four years of everything paid for.
MD: Volleyball games can look brutal with the players falling and diving into the ground. Have you ever gotten any bad injuries during a game?
KA: I’ve been pretty lucky and never been hurt that bad, but I get floor burns a lot. We wear kneepads, but when they get sweaty, they can slip and your knees slide on the court.
MD: Some of the volleyball players I have talked to really like the band at games. Do they distract or bother you?
KA: The band really pumps me up. Then when they yell out our names like “Hi Julia!” in the beginning of the game. I hope it demoralizes (the other team) and gets into their head.
MD: Do you enjoy playing beach volleyball too?
KA: It’s a lot harder because it’s harder to jump and you have to communicate a lot with your teammate since there are only two of you.
MD: Even though you lost to Santa Barbara, is it still possible for the team to make it to the NCAA tournament?
KA: We can still go, it’s still possible, but we have to win all seven of our next games.