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Sept. 23, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Student Athlete-of-the-Month showcases athletes who have demonstrated excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom. The September Female Student Athlete-of-the-Month, second year Ruth Selby, has displayed a strong work ethic in her academic and athletic endeavors. A Jefferson Scholar from Palo Alto, California, Ruth is a Spring 2002 walk-on for the Women’s Volleyball team.

Q: You made the team as a walk on last spring, how have things changed for you?

A: Being on the Varsity team means a bigger time commitment. I spend more time in the weight room and more time practicing. As a walk on in the spring I was the rookie. At first it was okay to not know stuff and to make rookie mistakes. Now it’s not okay anymore. We have two first years on the team this fall and even though I’m a second year, I feel like a pseudo first year because I have never played in the fall with the team. They have higher standards, which is good! But there are certain things I have never had to deal with. The traveling and stuff is different from when I was on club.

Q: How has your new volleyball schedule affected your schoolwork?

A: It has forced me to be a better student. One example would be when we were on the road heading to a tournament in Tennessee. We had a five and a half-hour bus ride and I got a lot of work and reading done on the bus. I had fewer distractions sitting on the bus than I would have if I had been here in Charlottesville. I think I’m more disciplined now.

Q: What does being a Jefferson Scholar mean to you?

A: Other girls on the team have scholarships for volleyball but I have to remember that a big part of what brought me here was the academic aspect. My priority, for the most part, is school. I have missed some Jefferson Scholar activities such as the Leadership Institute this summer because of volleyball. However, most of the things I miss are more enrichment activities and not mandatory.

Q: What does your position as Defensive Specialist/Libero entitle?

A: My position means I stay at the back of the court. My only job is to pass so I have to make sure I’m doing that well. It puts a premium on performing in one area.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence in volleyball?

A: My club volleyball coach my sophomore year in high school has been my biggest influence. She played for San Jose State and was a top player. She helped the team with fundamentals and was so intense. She would not let us fail. She inspired not only by coaching but also by example. I guess you could say she would teach us by doing.

Q: And in school?

A: My father, without a doubt. I mean, both my parents pushed me in school, but my dad is such an academic. He encouraged me to read whatever I could get my hands on. My friends laugh because I have one whole wall in my room at home that is ALL bookcases! I was surrounded by resources at home and my parents both encouraged and demanded excellence. In the long run it has made me work harder.

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