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Hillary Trebels is a junior on the Virginia volleyball team this year. In the midst of a five-match road swing that will close out the regular season, Trebels took some time to talk about traveling with the team, the squad’s plans for Thanksgiving, her favorite team at UVa and her major.

This weekend, the Cavaliers will head to Wake Forest on Friday and Duke on Saturday for its final weekend series of the season. Both matches are slated to start at 7 p.m.

Question: The team had a long bus trip to Clemson and Georgia Tech last weekend. What is your favorite thing about bus trips?
Trebels: My favorite thing about bus trips would definitely be the team bonding that takes place. When you are with your team 24 hours a day for five days in a row and see absolutely no one else, you learn a lot about each other. We make lots of inside jokes and hear a TON of great stories.

This weekend was our last long bus trip with our three fabulous fourth-years, I know we’ll miss them next year. And AJ [Cushman] will definitely miss the sleeper bus!

Question: With Thanksgiving coming up, does the team having anything planned to celebrate together?
Trebels: We’ll all be in town for Thanksgiving because we have practice on Thursday and our game against Virginia Tech on Friday. Wednesday night [assistant coach] Jenny [Andrew] has planned cooking stations, and we’ll prepare and enjoy a meal together. The day of Thanksgiving, some people will have family in town to celebrate.

Question: Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving meal?
Trebels: On Thanksgiving, you have to have TURKEY! Aside from that, I love mashed potatoes and these special rolls my mom makes called angel bows.

Question: Being from the Chicago area, will you get to see any of your family for Thanksgiving?
Trebels: Unfortunately, I won’t get to see any family until I go home for Christmas, but not seeing them since June makes it that much sweeter.

Question: Simone is also from the Chicago area. Did you know or play with or against her prior to coming to Virginia?
Trebels: I did not know Simone well until coming to school. However, we did play each other a fair amount in the Great Lakes Power League; she played for 1st Alliance and I played for Sports Performance. At tournaments, we’d be sure to meet up and chat for a bit. Simone has definitely used her time at Virginia to improve her game. Since club, she has added the line shot to her repertoire!

Question: You’re a middle, but you’ve been playing a little bit more on the right side lately. How are those two positions different?
Trebels: They are both front row positions, but they definitely have differences. Middles block every ball and hit quicker sets, where as right sides only block the other team’s outside hitter, quick attacks in their zone and back row attacks. The most difficult part of the transition has been the hitting, unless I’m running a slide behind the setter, I have to really concentrate on not leaving too early.

Question: If you could play any other position on the court for a day, what would you choose?
Trebels: I would love to be a setter! Setting is the most unique skill of volleyball and it is the connection between the defense and offense. I also think setters are extremely graceful as they have to have the ability to turn a chaotic pass or dig into a scoring opportunity for their team without man handling the ball.

Question: What is your favorite sport to watch outside of volleyball?
Trebels: At UVa, I absolutely love our wrestling team. I know a bunch of the guys on the team really well, so I love to go out and support them. A lot of them came out to almost all our home games and we really appreciated that!! Coach Garland has really done something special with that program and I can’t wait to see all the great things they’ll accomplish this year. GO HOOS!

Question: As a junior, have you decided on a major?
Trebels: Yes, I have decided on a major. I’m working on getting a BA in biology and a master’s in teaching. Coming into UVa I knew I wanted to work with children, but I didn’t know if I wanted to do so in an educational or medical setting (my favorite subject has always been science) so I volunteered at the hospital and local schools. Through these different experiences, I found that I really loved the relationships you develop in the classroom, so I decided to enter the Curry School.

Question: Do you know what you’ll spend your fifth year doing, since your eligibility will be up?
Trebels: Your fifth year in the Curry School is reserved for student teaching, so I will be doing my graduate work. Although I will not be a student-athlete then, I will definitely still support the ‘Hoos in whatever ways possible!

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