Q&A with Tess Udall
Tess Udall is a junior on the Virginia volleyball team this season. Hailing from Colorado, Udall has played every position from middle blocker to outside hitter to a defensive specialist for the Cavaliers. The daughter of a senator, Udall talks about her father, why she came to UVa and her major.
This weekend, Virginia will host Miami and No. 25 Florida State to open the second half of ACC play. The Cavaliers will face the Hurricanes Friday at 7 p.m., and the Seminoles Sunday at 1 p.m.
Question: Being from Colorado, why did you choose to come to Virginia?
Udall: I really wanted to experience something new, and the East Coast is really different from Colorado. Mostly, I thought the school was beautiful, I loved the girls on the team and the academic environment is hard to beat. It just seemed like a perfect fit.
Question: What has been the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make?
Udall: One, the humidity! I am used to extremely dry weather and I hate humidity, so I have had to learn to deal with that. And two, being so far away from home for long periods of time took a while to get used to.
Question: Your father was a congressman running for senate in the last election cycle. Where is he now and what position does he hold?
Udall: He won his race in 2008 and is now a United States Senator representing Colorado. He spends most of his time in Washington, D.C.
Question: Are you able to see your family more now that they’re on the east coast?
Udall: Yes! It’s much easier for my parents to come down and visit on home weekends, especially because my mom now works in the D.C. area as well. They try to drive down at least a few times a semester.
Question: When you go “home” for breaks, do you get to go back to Colorado? Or do you spend them in DC?
Udall: Colorado for sure. That will always be where my home is. Even though my parents work in D.C., they fly home most weekends because they would rather be there.
Question: As a junior, have you decided on a major yet?
Udall: Yes, I am a foreign affairs major in the politics department. I am thinking about a history minor, but I’m not sure yet.
Question: Why did you choose that, or do you know what you want to do with it?
Udall: I started taking politics classes my first year at UVa, and they made a lot of sense to me, considering my background. I chose foreign affairs mostly because I love learning about current events and how the rest of the world works. I have absolutely NO idea what I want to do with it besides the fact that I’m pretty sure a career in politics isn’t in the works for me.
Question: You’re involved in the ACE program. What grade do you work with and how did you get involved with that?
Udall: I work with fourth and fifth graders at Walker Upper Elementary School with Mr. Craft. A lot of my teammates do ACE and I learned about the program from them.
Question: What has been the most beneficial thing you’ve learned from being involved in the program?
Udall: How easy it is to make a difference for kids in the local community. ACE doesn’t require a huge amount of energy or time, but the rewards from it are awesome. You can really see the change in some kids after only one semester.