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Lauren Dickson is a junior outside hitter on the Virginia volleyball team. Dickson led the Cavaliers to the JMU Days Inn Invitational tournament title last weekend, and earned tournament MVP honors after topping the team in kills. Dickson and the Cavaliers will return to action this weekend, heading to Colorado for the first-time ever, playing in the Denver Pioneer Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Question: You had a successful weekend, winning the JMU Days Inn Invitational. How does it feel to not only be back on the court competing, but to be named the MVP of the first tournament?
Dickson: I am so excited to be able to compete again. It seems like I have been waiting forever for this season to start! Receiving MVP was a huge surprise and a great honor, but more importantly our team got better throughout the whole weekend, and we came away with three big wins.

Question: There are a few rule changes this year, specifically the score change, playing to 25 rather than 30. How did that change the game for you? Or didn’t you notice?
Dickson: I actually like the rule change because it makes it more important to play well consistently throughout the game. If you don’t come out strong, it’s harder to come back in the end. Throughout club volleyball and high school, we played to 25, so I think everyone knows how to adjust to the shorter game.

Question: How have the newcomers adapted to being at Virginia and playing on the volleyball team?
Dickson: All four of the newcomers have awesome personalities, and I have loved getting to know them so far. They have worked extremely hard in practice, and not only have they improved individually, but they have helped the rest of us get better too.

Question: What are some of your expectations for the team this season?
Dickson: I expect us to continually get better with each practice and with each match. I know that this team has great potential, and we all are working incredibly hard to have the best season possible. Hopefully, that means we’ll bring home the ACC Championship!

Question: With this first weekend completed, what are you looking forward to in Colorado next weekend?
Dickson: I’m really looking forward to playing Denver, Tennessee, and Iowa. All three schools will be very tough opponents, and we will have to play our best all the time. I am excited to see our hard work in practice pay off!

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