Female Athlete of the Week: Erin Albers

Hometown: Belleville, Ill. Majors: Accounting and Finance

| Sports Reporter
Senior Erin Albers spikes against #1 Juniata during a record-breaking match on September 18 that led to the Bears sweeping the series 3-0. (PAUL GOEDEKE | STUDENT LIFE)

Senior Erin Albers spikes against #1 Juniata during a record-breaking match on September 18 that led to the Bears sweeping the series 3-0. (Paul Goedeke | Student Life)

While the Washington University women’s volleyball team may be very young this year, senior co-captain Erin Albers has done a tremendous job leading the way. She paced the team with 33 kills at the University Athletic Association Round Robin in Rochester, N.Y. while racking up a .433 hitting percentage. Albers was named a UAA Athlete of the Week and is also Student Life’s Female Athlete of the Week.

Student Life: So far, what’s been the high point for you in your senior year here?

Erin Albers: I would definitely have to say beating Juniata. That was the first time we’ve beat them since I’ve been here, so it always feels good to be the team that you beat a big rival with.

SL: You guys have multiple freshmen making serious contributions this year. You were a letterwinner in your own freshman year. What do you remember about being able to come in as a freshman, and what do you see in that group this year?

EA: I know that as a freshman it’s always tough to come in. There’s always the nerve factor that plays a big part. And I think the freshmen this year are taking that very well. They’re all playing well, and they’re getting over their nerves and they feel as if they’re a part of the team and not just a freshman on the floor.

SL: Similarly, you’re the only full-time senior starter out there right now. What’s it like playing around what’s really an incredibly young team that just keeps getting better with every day? Do you kind of feel like a role model for them out there?

EA: I do feel like a role model, looking around and seeing all the young faces on the team looking up to me. But at the same time I do think everybody has the confidence, and the team, at least, is growing. Clearly our team is young this year, and I think it was easier to see that at the beginning of the year than it is now. Every day we’re improving as a team, and we’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the year and we’re going to keep becoming better. We’re going to be so much better by the end of the year, and we do have a chance to make it very far this year.

SL: You guys play a lot of tough teams year in and year out, and unfortunately you can’t beat them all. So say that there’s one opponent that you want to be able to beat every single time; your biggest rival, the one that brings out the most in you. Who would that be?

EA: That’s probably a split between Juniata and Emory. Like I said earlier, this was the first time we’ve beaten Juniata. Every year we play them we come out with so much energy and so much excitement and we’re always ready to play. But then there’s also Emory, who’s our conference rival, and we see them every year and it’s always the two of us for the top of our conference championship.

SL: Who’s had the biggest influence on you as a player, either just here at Wash. U. or throughout your career playing volleyball?

EA: I think the person who’s had the biggest influence on me has been my high school coach. She just had so much passion for the game of volleyball and looked to instill that on all of her players. She was just really good at motivating our team and was just always smart about the game and knew how to play. She knew all the techniques and knew how to get teams excited and how to make them want to play.

The Bears host the Washington University Invitational this weekend playing Elmhurst College at 5:15 p.m. and Central College at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9. The volleyball team wraps up on Sat., Oct. 10 against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at 11 a.m.