Killin’ time: An interview with a Cougar outside hitter
Over the past two-plus seasons, outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh has been a staple for the volleyball team offense.
Now in her junior year, Afflerbaugh is on track for her best season yet, leading the team with 149 kills, including a career-high 24 in a come-from-behind victory over the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
The Cougar caught up with Afflerbaugh to find out more about her.
The Cougar: What first got you into volleyball?
Sarah Afflerbaugh: I knew I was going to be playing it in seventh grade, so I started in sixth grade in a rec league to learn the game. I had never played it before then and I started loving it so I decided to try out for the team in high school and it went from there.
TC: When did you realize you were good enough to play Division I?
SA: It was probably around my sophomore year of high school. I played basketball also and I knew I wanted to play something in college so I saw which of those I wanted to pursue. I looked over my offers and interests from schools and chose volleyball as my path to college.
TC: What was it about UH that made you want to come here?
SA: It was close to home and I really liked the team and coaching staff. They reminded me of what I was used to from high school and club. The girls here were super nice on my visit and I clicked with them and they became my family.
TC: What was the biggest difference you noticed between playing college and high school?
SA: Time commitments. Here, this is your job and you came here to play volleyball on top of getting an education. In high school it’s just practice, games and then you’re done. Here it’s treatments, study hall, film sessions and extra reps.
TC: What do you miss most about UH when you’re on the road?
SA: The environment on campus. During a home game everyone is there supporting you and the energy is there, and on the road you have to create your own for the two to three hours you’re there.
TC: As an upperclassman and one of the leaders on the team what is the difference you noticed from being an underclassman?
SA: When I was an underclassman, I looked up to the upperclassmen and they showed me the ropes about how to get into the program, what the coaches want. My goal is to make that transition for freshman coming in as easy as possible and help them get into the rhythm of things.
TC: What do you like to do in your free time?
SA: What free time? I like normal college things. Watching Netflix and laying in my bed, hanging out with friends and the girls on the team.
TC: What are you looking to improve this season on the court?
SA: I really want to improve my blocking and defense. Those are two big areas I can improve and I’m looking to do that and keep doing well this season.
TC: What are your plans after graduation?
SA: After I graduate I want to continue my education and get my nursing degree. I’m not sure where yet, but that’s the plan to become a (registered nurse) and see where it goes from there.