Aug. 3, 2008
Freshman Q&A Index
By Scott Latta, UA Media Relations
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - For the Alabama volleyball program, the 2007 season meant relying on the group's solid senior leadership to carry the team into the postseason. Facing high expectations and sporting an experienced lineup led by seniors Bridget Fuentez, Crystal Hudson, Megan Hudson and Brigitte Slack, Alabama responded with an overall winning record in the regular season (15-14), a winning record in SEC play (12-8), and a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Now, one year later, the team's roster looks drastically different. Gone are four of the most prominent statistical leaders in Alabama volleyball history, and instead is a lineup that features only two seniors and three juniors, and nine underclassmen.
Facing such a young roster, Alabama coach Judy Green knew she needed to bring in players who could compete for playing time early, and in the end the Tide garnered what has been regarded nationally as the most prolific recruiting class in the school's volleyball history. PrepVolleyball.com, which ranks recruiting classes, put the Tide's 2008 class at 27th-best in the country, saying Alabama "added depth, versatility and athleticism" to the program.
Rolltide.com caught up with each of Alabama's newest members to see how they were getting acclimated to college life, what went into the recruiting process, and what their expectations for 2008 are.
RollTide.com got started with Ashley Frazier, a 6-1 outside hitter and middle blocker, who comes to Alabama from Oregon, Ohio.
UA: Why did you choose Alabama?
Ashley: I wanted somewhere where I'd feel at home away from home and would be comfortable with the coaches and the girls. My recruiting process was both long and short at the same time. I played basketball so I couldn't really visit places, so it was all really crammed into a couple weeks, but I settled on this for those reasons.
UA: How did your family react to your college decision?
Ashley: I told my parents I wanted to go south where it's warm all the time as opposed to Ohio, where it's freezing. But they were really supportive. They would have loved for me to have stayed close, but they weren't going to hold back from where I wanted to go just to keep me close. They were very supportive.
UA: What's the biggest adjustment changing from the high school game to SEC play?
Ashley: At my high school, it was either that you were awesome, or you were terrible, so the SEC is very solid top to bottom and getting physically and mentally prepared to play every time we went on the court will be my toughest adjustment.
UA: Has it been different living on your own and having to motivate yourself?
Ashley: It's definitely different, because you're on your own. At home there was always a full fridge, and here my choices are a little more limited because I'm constantly trying to budget my money and my time, because in my free time I'm usually doing homework or something else that relates to volleyball.
UA: What high school accomplishment are you most proud of?
Ashley: Winning a state championship my senior year was definitely icing on the cake.
UA: Have you had any embarrassing moments so far in your brief college experience?
Ashley: I went to the wrong class. I have a 10:00 class and a 2:00 class and the first day I was rushing because we had to do our physicals beforehand, so I was going to be late anyway. I wasn't thinking so I just went to the one that was on top and that was my 2:00 class, so I walked into that one and I was already late, so I felt stupid. I walked into the back and the professor announced what the class was and I was like, nope, that's not me, so I had to go out and call coach Green and go to the other one and was like 15 minutes late.
UA: Have you decided on a major yet?
Ashley: I don't know yet, but I'm leaning toward kinesiology and exercise science.
UA: What are your goals for your freshman season?
Ashley: Probably just to get stronger and faster, because the pace and ability of girls in this level is way higher. To become part of the team and find my role on the team and accept it, whatever it may be.