New Catalyst writer Ben Hall sat down with Jordan Mullen and Haley Harris, two sophomore outside-hitters for the CC women’s volleyball team. Last year, they helped carry the team to a 28-6 record and a trip to the NCAA Regional Semifinal. This year, the team is ranked ninth nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top-25 Preseason Poll.
The team’s home opener is Friday, Sept. 1st, in Reid Arena at 6 pm.
Ben Hall: The volleyball team had quite the season last year. Is there a lot of pressure to continue to play at that same level?
Jordan Mullen: Yes. There’s also a lot of pressure because we’re ranked ninth. I think rankings are a really big confidence booster, but they can add a lot of pressure during the season.
BH: Your first match of the year is on Friday, how’re you feeling about that? Are you guys ready to go?
Haley Harris: We’re very excited. Everybody has played a bunch of different positions in preseason, so we don’t really know what our starting lineup is. We’ll figure it out and we’re going to crush the other team.
BH: What food do you feel best represents your particular playing style?
HH: I feel like a burger does. Because when you have a burger at a restaurant you just attack it… as a hitter you kind of have to attack people.
JM: I’m going to go with peanut butter, because it really fuels and I like to pump people up.
BH: What would your WWE professional wrestler name be?
HH: Everybody on the team has a nickname, and each person has a specific cheer that we’ve made up for them. My nickname is Hale Storm, and my cheer after I get a kill or something is “Bring on the hailstorm! Pew pew pew pew pew!” So my wrestler name would be Hale Storm.
BH: Jordan what’s your cheer?
BH: Do you have a team cheer or motto?
HH: Our team motto this year is “Go forth and dominate,” which is on the back of all our practice shirts this year, and what we say in our team huddles and everything.
BH: What’s your favorite memory from last year’s season?
JM: We were in the hotel room having a dance party and Audrey, who’s studying abroad this year, used my foot as a microphone and it was super funny… we had a lot of dance parties in the hotel rooms.
HH: Last year we played the number three team in the country, Claremont McKenna, and we beat them in four sets, and I remember after that everyone screaming and cheering like “what did we just do?”
BH: What’s a formative experience you had in your sport growing up that made you interested in or want to continue to play?
JM: Not a specific experience, but just being able to play a sport you love with all your best friends is a big reason why I’ve always played. All my best friends always played, and I was always very proud to be part of a team. I think that’s why I never gave it away.
BH: It’s game point of the NCAA final. What song do you want playing during the slow motion movie montage of that game point?
HH: I kinda just imagine silence, but I guess if I had to pick one I’d say “300 Violin Orchesta.” That would be a cool song to have for match point.
JM: Definitely “The Final Countdown.”
BH: What’s your spirit vegetable?
HH: What is a spirit vegetable?
BH: It’s a like a spirit animal but a vegetable.
HH: I love carrots.
BH: Do you identify with carrots?
HH: I actually do, because when I was younger I’d eat so many carrots that the bottoms of my hands and my feet would turn orange.
BH: Is that a thing?
HH: Yes, that is a thing! If you eat too many it’ll get like an orange tint, so then I wasn’t allowed to eat them for a couple days. I ate way too many. Cause apparently carrots are supposed to help your eyesight, and I’m kind of blind, so I thought that the more I ate the better I’d see.
BH: But then you just turned your feet orange instead?
HH: Yep, it didn’t help with the eyes at all.
BH: If you were interviewing you, what would you want to ask? What do you want the people to know?
HH: The more people who come to our games the merrier, so everybody come to our volleyball games!