Q&A with Rachel Gray
Sophomore Rachel Gray came to Virginia last year as the volleyball team’s primary setter and has worked to transition into a two-setter system this year. With 1,269 assists in less than two seasons of play, she has already moved into the program’s all-time top-10 records in the category. This weekend, she will look to add to that total when the Cavaliers head to Boston College (Fri., 7 p.m.) and Maryland (Sun., 2 p.m.) to build upon the momentum they gained from earning their first ACC win of the season last weekend – a five-set victory over Clemson.
Question: Now that the team has gotten over the hurdle of winnings its first ACC match this season, what are your expectations for the rest of the year?
Gray: My expectations are for us to keep working hard every day at practice, like we always do, and to win the rest of our matches this season.
Question: Talk about the Clemson match. How important was that win and how good does it feel to have gotten it?
Gray: The win against Clemson was very important because it was out first ACC win this season. It gave us the confidence we needed to help us win throughout the rest of the year.
Question: You ran a 5-1 offense last year and have helped run a 6-2 through a handful of matches this year. What has that transition been like? What are some of the differences between the two options?
Gray: The transition has been a good one for me. I have run a 6-2 before, so it wasn’t hard for me to adjust to. I think that running a 6-2 has been helpful because it’s good to always have three hitters in the front row and it’s good to have a big block up on the other teams outside hitter in every rotation.
Question: When the pass is in the air, how do you determine who you are going to set?
Gray: Sometimes, even before the ball is served, I know who I am going to set the ball too. Or I can look to see where the other teams block is to determine where I should set the ball.
Question: Coming from Kansas, what brought you to Virginia?
Gray: Ever since I started to play volleyball, I had the dream of playing at the Division 1 level. I didn’t care if I had to go far away to make it happen. Once I visited Virginia, I knew it was the school I wanted to go to. After meeting the girls on the team, I could tell they had great team chemistry and that was something very important to me in making my decision to come to UVa.
Question: What do you miss most about being so far from home?
Gray: The thing I miss the most about being so far away from home is my family and friends. And of course I miss my pets!
Question: What is your favorite activity outside of the gym?
Gray: My favorite activity outside of the gym is just relaxing and hanging out with my friends.