Aug. 21, 2014
Alabama Volleyball welcomes eight newcomers to the team this season, so we'll be chatting with all of them over the next few days. Our second newcomer is Brooke Feld from Manhattan Beach, Calif.
How did you get your start playing volleyball?
"I first started in fourth grade when there was an afterschool program. I was already playing basketball, softball and soccer too. I was just an athletic kid. I started playing volleyball at this afterschool program and automatically loved it. Coming from California, there's a lot of interest in volleyball so it was easy to get into club volleyball. I loved it and I've been playing for nearly 10 years at this point."
When did you shift your primary focus to volleyball?
"Around middle school was when I made the decision to just stick with volleyball. When I was really young, my plan was to play basketball or soccer but I just chose volleyball because I had fallen in love with the sport."
When did playing collegiately become a real possibility?
"I knew when I got into high school that I wanted to play in college. I didn't know if it was a real possibility, but I knew it was my dream to play at a Division-I school. After a lot of hard work, here I am at the University of Alabama and I couldn't be happier."
What was your decision process like when looking at colleges?
"My first visit was to Cal State Fullerton and I was really excited because, typically, defensive players or liberos don't get as many looks or offers but nothing really happened with them so I moved on. My original plan was to stay in California but once I got recruited by Alabama at a tournament and visited the campus, I knew that I wanted to come here. It came down to Alabama or San Diego State. When you go on a campus, sometimes you get a feeling that you love it or you don't and for some reason I wasn't in love with it there but here at Alabama I was blown away."
What were some of you first impressions of the campus and the volleyball program?
"The first thing we wondered was `what's that huge thing in the middle of the campus?' which turned out to be the football stadium. You don't really see that out in California. It looks like a huge spaceship! Getting to tour the football stadium and then coming to Foster Auditorium and seeing everything was great. It's a different feel than a lot of places in California. My family and I joke that it's like the Disneyland of the south because everything is so green and the squirrels are straight out of a cartoon jumping around all the time. It was just beautiful."
You originally wanted to stay in California, so was moving across the country a tough decision?
"It was definitely something on my mind. My first thought when I initially started looking at schools was to stay in California because I figured I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. When I met Coach [Ed] Allen and the coaching staff, I knew that they would take good care of me. These teammates are amazing. I've seen some college teams where there was a lot of drama but at Alabama everyone was so sweet and everyone had really good chemistry. I noticed that right off the bat." What are some of your goals for the season, both individually and as a team? "I think individually my goals are to become stronger and quicker on the court. I want to gain some confidence and prove to people that, even though I'm a freshman, I can be strong and reliable on the court and it shouldn't matter what class you are. That's a goal for our whole freshman class too. We don't want people to think we're freshmen. We're going to go out there with a ton of confidence."
You've had one full day of classes and practice, so what has the adjustment to college life been like so far?
"It's a little overwhelming at first, but I love the structure. I go to class, have a little free time and then come to volleyball. Playing volleyball keeps me motivated to do all my schoolwork and then coming here after that feels like going to work every day. It's a "job" I love and I love all the girls. It's a lot different than high school. I have a class with Natalie [Murison] and Kat [Hutson] and we were all a little shocked that college was finally here, but I was ready to go. I'm ready to go after what I want to do in my life and figure out a major and hopefully a career."
If you had one tip to give any young volleyball player out there, what would it be?
"All of the repetitive and boring things that you do in practice when you're younger are what you need to do to get better. If you feel like you're not in love with it and you're not focused on that, you need to realize that it might be boring but that is what is going to make you better. That's what you'll have to do moving forward every day but just know that it's a competitive world and you always have to fight for a position, so don't stop fighting. Michael Jordan didn't make his high school team and look where he ended up, so don't give up."
Previous "Getting to Know" Features:
01 - Leah Lawrence
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