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Abby Snyder and the Virginia softball team have an idle weekend to prepare for and take final exams, but returns to action Friday. May 8 at the 2009 ACC Championship in Raleigh, N.C. Snyder, the recent award winner of the softball team’s Coaches Award for Excellence, sat down with to chat about the bye week, playing the “hot corner” and what she likes to do for fun.

Question: What are the goals this week with no games?
Our goals this week are to get back to some fundamentals, focus on our swings, work the on fundamentals of defense, and bring our individual efforts together as a team.

Question: What about academically?
To get on the ball. Finals started Friday, so everyone is pretty bogged down with academics. We’re just trying to stay on top of that. Our two focuses right now are softball and academics and that’s it.

Question: How would you describe the season up to this point?
Like a rollercoaster. We started off stronger than we ever have, so we had really high expectations, but somewhere along the way we lost our focus. We lost our team mindset, and we’re trying to get that back for the ACC Tournament because that is our shot to make something of the season.

Question: You’ve played third base for three straight years. What are the challenges of that position?
The ball comes so hard and fast, but I like it because you just have time to react and there is no time to think. It is much quicker than in summer ball or high school, so that was a big adjustment when I started playing third base at the college level.

Question: If you could play any other position, regardless of skill, what would it be?
Catcher. I’ve always wanted to be a catcher. Coach Heidi (Freitager) knows this. I think it’s so cool that they get to be in every play, wear all the gear, and call the signs. Besides the pitcher who is in control of every play, the catcher is the head of the field, and I feel like they are the leader of the field.

Question: What is your major? What are your career aspirations?
My major is sports medicine in the kinesiology department in the Curry School. I’m really thinking of going to school to be a physician’s assistant, and this summer I’ll be practicing at home at the new Andrew’s Sports Medicine Institute. I’ll get to work with some PAs and PTs so I can see which job I like better and which aspects I like and don’t like.

Question: What is your interest in that field?
I really like learning about anatomy, muscles, bones, and all that. And I think injuries are very interesting, and applying it to sports I think it’s really cool to know how everything works together.

Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa so far?
That is a tough one! I don’t know, I really like all my sports medicine classes. All of those professors are very personable so we get to know them on a one-to-one basis. My favorite of those might be adaptive PE because we got to do a lot of interactive things like work in wheelchair or pretend to be blind or deaf. We got to learn how people adapt.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Snyder: Hunt! I love to deer hunt, and I go with my dad every winter. This summer we’re actually going hog hunting because the hogs are invading the deer population. I always wanted to go with him as a kid, but he would not let me go until I was 12. I’ve been going ever since. We go fishing during the summer too and I like to go to the beach.

Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
It’s cliché but I have to say the Lawn. It’s traditional, unique to UVa, and every time I go there I think about how lucky I am to be here. It’s such a great place and I never thought I would have the opportunity to be at one of the best public universities in the nation.

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