Q&A with Brittani Rendina
Senior Brittani Rendina has been a pivotal player on defense for the Virginia volleyball team the past two seasons. Rendina’s 518 digs last year ranks fifth in Virginia’s single season record books. She also dug 34 attacks to lead the Cavaliers in an exciting five-set victory over Miami at home earlier this season. Her 38 digs against Duke last year rank as the fifth-best single match performance in program history. This weekend, Rendina makes her final weekend road trip to Georgia Tech (Fri., 7 p.m.) and Clemson (Sat., 7 p.m.), before concluding her career at Virginia Tech on Wed., Nov. 25.
Question: You just played your final weekend in Memorial Gymnasium. You beat Wake Forest and played a good Duke squad very close. What were those matches like?
Rendina: It was so bittersweet playing those last two matches, but I wouldn’t change anything about that weekend. Before the match even started against Wake Forest, you could feel a completely different energy in the locker room. And if you were at that match, you could see that energy translated onto the court in the way we played like a team. Even though we didn’t have the outcome we expected against Duke, I have no regrets. I know we all played with so much heart and that’s all you can ask for.
Question: What are you going to miss most about Mem Gym?
Rendina: The smell of hotdogs during warm-ups and the prime lighting circa 1 p.m.
Question: What is something that most people don’t know about Virginia volleyball?
Rendina: We practice on game days and we dance in the locker room to warm up before we play.
Question: What have you learned by playing volleyball for Virginia?
Rendina: This can’t even be put into words: everything from discipline and time management, to learning how to interact and work with people with a wide variety of personalities and from many different backgrounds.
Also, we’re so lucky at UVa to have so many opportunities for athletes. Coming from another university where I saw that not everyone is so fortunate really helped me put things in perspective.
Question: If you could give a piece of advice to someone just beginning their career, what would you tell them?
Rendina: Allow yourself to be coached and pushed to your limits. You’ll surprise yourself with just how much you’re capable of. The last thing you ever want to hear someone say is “that girl HAD potential.”
Question: Why is volleyball your favorite sport to play?
Rendina: It’s such a fast-paced game and it’s a game that completely relies on teammates. And obviously, there’s nothing better than crushing hearts when you dig a ball that someone really winds up to hit.
Question: How did you become a libero?
Rendina: What a question. When I was 15, I stopped growing, and even though I could jump high, my coach knew I had the best chance of playing in college as a defensive player. So every year since then, I’ve been on a team as a libero, but then someone would get injured and I’d end up back at outside hitter. This happened every single year, even at Rutgers my first year. Then I finally fell into a true defensive position here at UVa and have loved every minute of it. I live for collapsing, shin-downs, pancakes and barrel rolling. I am one with the floor.
Question: Outside of volleyball, do you know what career you are going to pursue following graduation?
Rendina: My dream job is working for a consumer goods company and one day being a brand manager for a company like Wrigley and traveling all over the world for work. But right now, I’m taking it one day at a time with the job search.