Meet the 2014 Sand Championships Field – Hawaii
We caught up with Hawaii’s Karissa Cook, a senior, and Katie Spieler, a sophomore. This is the first trip to the Sand Championships for Hawaii, junior Brittany Tiegs competed in 2012 with FSU.
USA Volleyball: It’s your first trip to the Sand Championships, what’s the mood right now?
Karissa: Everyone is pretty excited. We had a tough couple travel days but I don’t think it deterred us from being fired up. It’s the last go-around for a lot of us. It’s going to be fun, we’re excited.
Hawaii has strong 1 and 2 teams, has Brittany Tiegs given tips of what the event is like and what to look out for?
Katie: We started the season off with this as the goal the whole time. It helps having Brittany because she does have experience here. She knows that once you get here anything can happen. We have to play our best game – and we want to win. She has a great mental attitude and wants to win. That pushes us.
Toughest competition while you’re here?
Karissa: There are a lot of good teams here. We haven’t seen the Florida teams much. We’ve heard that FSU is tough, FIU is and I’m sure Stetson is too. We haven’t seen them at all. We’ve played against Pepperdine and USC and we know what they do and that they’re very good. They’re well coached and disciplined, but I think we’re right there with them.
What skills are needed to be successful on sand?
Katie: Mental toughness. You have to do everything in this sport. You have to pass, set, hit and everything is exposed. You have to be good all-around. Communication is also huge.
Most looking forward to while here at the championships?
Karissa: The competition. We like playing, that’s why we do it. We love playing volleyball. It’ll be cool to see the other teams and enjoy the atmosphere.
Katie: The atmosphere. It’s all right here, like The Hangout. Every road trip is fun with this team. Aside from the competition, which is the No. 1 most exciting thing, just being around each other and having fun.