Q&A with Tess Udall
Sophomore Tess Udall was recruited by the Virginia volleyball team as a middle blocker, but since arriving in Charlottesville, the Boulder, Colo., native has made the transition to an outside hitter. This past weekend, Udall helped paced the Cavaliers’ offense with a career-high eight kills against Georgia Tech.
This weekend, Virginia will head north to face Maryland (Fri., 7 p.m.) and Boston College (Sat., 7 p.m.)
Question: You came to Virginia as a middle blocker and have made the transition to an outside hitter. Why did you make the switch?
Udall: I have always bounced around from position to position for as long as I’ve been playing, so it wasn’t a big surprise that I switched. I’m actually much more comfortable as an outside hitter and I spent most of the spring practicing that way. I think the coaches thought my skill set was better suited to the outside position and that I would make bigger contributions there.
Question: Had you ever played outside before?
Udall: I played right side in high school and club and would hit some on the left, but I have never been designated solely as an outside until this year.
Question: What has been the most challenging part of the transition?
Udall: Changing the way I pass the ball and learning new defensive positions. I was pretty out of practice with passing, so it has taken me a while to get comfortable in serve receive again. I have always struggled defensively, so that is always a challenge for me.
Question: What has been the most rewarding part of the switch?
Udall: I feel like this switch has benefitted my team in numerous ways and knowing that, I can confidently move from position to position with the support of my teammates and coaches.
Question: What do you miss about being a middle?
Udall: I miss hitting a “C” [behind the setter]. I loved hitting off of one leg and being able to draw blocks to create opportunities for the outsides.
Question: Off the court, what do you like to do for fun?
Udall: I am pretty good at eating. Other than that, I love to hang out with my teammates and watch movies and cook.
Question: What do you enjoy most about Virginia?
Udall: I love the atmosphere and athlete community. I have met some of my best friends at this school.
Question: As Halloween approaches, what has been your best Halloween costume?
Udall: In second grade, like the cool kid that I am, I was George Washington. I still have that wig.