Aug. 22, 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 third Q&A is with Kat Hutson from Brentwood, Tenn.
How did you get your start playing volleyball?
"I have an older sister who's four years older than me. Everything that she wanted to try, I ended up trying it too. She started playing volleyball so, naturally I followed. That was in fifth grade at the rec league level."
Did you play any other sports?
"I also played basketball and, when I was younger, I thought I would go into the WNBA. I played softball, soccer, swam and did ballet too."
When did you shift your primary focus to volleyball?
"By the end of eighth grade, I had to make a choice whether I would stick with volleyball or basketball. My sister played basketball through high school mostly but I decided to focus solely on volleyball and make that my main focus."
When did playing collegiately become a real possibility?
"I knew I wanted to play a sport in college since I was very young. When I first went into middle school, I knew I had to get really good at one sport so I could play that for as long as I possibly could."
What were some of your first college visits?
"My first "visit" was in seventh grade, but it wasn't a real visit. When I was in seventh grade, Kentucky was recruiting my sister so I went with her when she visited and they were being nice and joking around saying that they would be looking at me next. My first real visit was my sophomore year to Florida and that was a big deal, seeing a big program in the SEC."
When did Alabama come into the picture?
"My first visit to Alabama was during my junior year and it was over spring break so I didn't get a chance to meet anybody but I loved the campus. When I came back a second time and finally got a chance to meet the team, that's when I knew that Alabama was the place. The team had great things to say about the program and coaching staff and I could tell that they were being real about it and that they weren't just reading off a script. I loved that."
Was being close to your home a consideration when looking at colleges?
"To me it wasn't a huge deal but to my Mom it was a different story. She really wanted me to be close enough but not too close, so I can appreciate that. Nashville is about three and a half hours away so it's the perfect distance."
What are some of your goals for the season, both individually and as a team?
"I think it goes without saying that we want to build and keep making progress. That's why Coach Allen recruited us. We know that's what we need to do and taking a day off is not an option. Not giving everything we have isn't an option. It goes without saying that we need to put in the work to make a run in the NCAA Tournament."
Classes just started but how has the adjustment been to the full "college experience" so far?
"It's mentally tiring. Being here over the summer and training was physically exhausting but when you get mentally tired on top of that, it's a whole other ballgame. This early in the year, I think my brain is just a little out of shape. My body's in shape but my brain needs to catch up."
If you had one tip to give any young volleyball player out there, what would it be?
"On the worst days where you don't agree with anything your coach is saying or you're not hitting one ball in bounds, think about how good it's going to feel after you put in the hard work and you're on the sideline waiting for your name to be called in a college match. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing that I made it where I needed to be. Sometimes it's hard to stick with it but putting in all the work and getting good results is completely worth it."
Previous "Getting to Know" Features:
01 - Leah Lawrence
02 - Brooke Feld
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