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Courtesy: USF Athletics

Offseason Interview with Emily Johnson

Courtesy: USF Athletics
          Release: 02/08/2012
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Freshman outside hitter Emily Johnson had an impressive rookie campaign with the Cougar volleyball team. The Platte native recorded the 4th-highest single season kill total in school history (451) and also cracked the top-10 list for service aces in a single season (44). Johnson sat down to recap the 2011 season and talk about what the Cougars have been working on during the winter months.  

1. How was your Christmas break?

EJ: My Christmas break was a lot of fun. I went to some of my brother's basketball games and hung out with some high school friends so I didn't do too much, but I really enjoyed some time off.

2. Your thoughts on having one year of experience in the volleyball program?

EJ: The past season had a lot of ups and downs because of having new coaches and everyone having to learn a whole new way of doing things. I think now that we know the coaches we will be able to improve a lot and be successful in the NSIC.

3. What did you find was the biggest difference between junior college and college volleyball?

EJ: The college game is so much faster than in high school and obviously the level of competition is much higher.

4. Now that it's a little more in the rearview mirror; what was the NCAA transitional season like?

EJ: We traveled a lot! We only had one completely free weekend from when we started preseason until the season was over. We got to spend a lot of time together as a team though, so that was fun.

5. I keep hearing the thuds of volleyball in the gym; what has the team been working in so far during the offseason?

EJ: We started open gyms and training as soon as we got back from Christmas break. We have a small group session with the coaches twice a week and we also have open gyms on our own twice a week.

6. What have you personally been trying to improve on during the offseason

EJ: My goals for the offseason are to improve my serve receive accuracy and defense skills.

7. What kind of weight-training has the USF strength and conditioning coaches been having the volleyball team do in the offseason?  

EJ: This offseason w've been working out with Coach Mathers; we have running workouts every Tuesday and Thursday mornings and we lift every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

8. How are classes going? Was it easy to find a way to manage your time between school and volleyball?

EJ: Classes are going good so far. With all the travel last season it got difficult sometimes to get everything done but I did a lot of homework on the bus. I basically studied and played volleyball with all my time!

9. Something that most people don't know about you?

EJ: Something most people don't know about me is that I love to travel. I plan all our family vacations; this year we went to Puerto Rico over Thanksgiving!

10. When did you start playing volleyball and why did you stick with it?

EJ: I started playing volleyball when I was in 7th grade. All my friends played volleyball with me and when I got to high school I had so much fun playing that I kept playing. I love the game.  

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