Q&A with Beth Wildermuth
Beth Wildermuth is a transfer from Notre Dame, who spent last fall at a community college before joining the Cavaliers this spring. A native of San Clemente, Calif., Wildermuth will have three seasons of eligibility with the Cavaliers and has been selected by her teammates as a tri-captain this year. She led the team in assists last weekend at the Temple Invitational, where Virginia went 3-0, and will be looked to for leadership on and off the court this season.
Question: The team swept the Temple Invitational. What were your thoughts on your first weekend playing for Virginia? Or how do you think the weekend went?
Wildermuth: After sitting out an entire year from competition, I could not wait to get on the court. I absolutely love the intensity and excitement that competition brings with it. Overall, I think we had a very successful weekend. It was great to win all of our matches, but we also know that there are a lot of areas for us to improve.
Question: You have a unique situation in that you’re a transfer, but you’re eligible to play this season. What did you do in the year in which you didn’t compete?
Wildermuth: After deciding to transfer from Notre Dame, I spent the fall 2009 semester at home in California at Saddleback Junior College. I took classes while going through the recruiting process all over again. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to come to UVa and gladly accepted. Along with taking classes at Saddleback, I spent my time training with my old club coach, Michael Soylular, and babysitting my niece.
Question: What made you decide to come to Virginia?
Wildermuth: The opportunity to attend a great academic school like the University of Virginia and be a part of Lee Maes’ volleyball program was simply to great to refuse. I really believe in Coach Maes’ coaching philosophy and wanted to be a part of his team as he pushes Virginia’s program to be one of the best in the country.
Question: You were able to join the team this past spring – do you feel that benefited you for this fall season?
Wildermuth: I definitely believe that I benefitted from transferring to UVa for the spring semester. Being here in the spring allowed me to develop some really great relationships with the girls on the team, learn a new offensive system and adjust to living in Virginia. Having the time to work with the team during the spring also gave me an opportunity to prove myself to my teammates and build chemistry with them on the court.
Question: Even with your unique situation, your teammates see you as a leader and you’ve been selected as a captain for this season. What does that honor mean to you?
Wildermuth: I am extremely honored to be a captain for our team this season. I have only been here for one semester and I love this team and am so proud of all of the work we have put in to get better. I feel honored that they see me fit to be their representative and leader on the court. I take my role as being a captain very seriously and will do the best I can for my team who selected me for the position. I am really happy and after being selected to be a captain, I feel even more driven to work hard than before.
Question: Being a junior academically, have you decided on what you want to major in?
Wildermuth: Yes, I am an art history major. I really love studying both art and history so deciding to declare a major in art history seemed to be the most logical choice. I would also like to complete a minor in studio art or film studies.
Question: Do you know what you want to do with your major?
Wildermuth: Nope! I’m definitely not sure about what type of career I would like to pursue yet. I am planning on going to grad school and would like to study in Italy when I finish my undergrad.
Question: Are you pleased with your decision to come to Virginia so far?
Wildermuth: Yes, I am so happy! When I decided to leave Notre Dame, I had no idea what was in store for my future academically or athletically. I am very lucky to have been offered another chance to play for a division one school and it is an opportunity that I will never take for granted.
Question: Do you have any goals or expectations for this year?
Wildermuth: I really believe our team has the ability to win the ACC Championship this year. Along with winning an ACC championship, I would really like to win our three matches in California. I’m from southern California, so we will be playing a lot of girls that I know and grew up with, so it would definitely be nice to have some bragging rights when I come home at Christmas break.