With the post season drawing near, the Hi-P Staff thought it would be a good idea to get the perspective of a Hi-P Alum that is going through the rigors of a tough conference season. This year, the PAC 12 is arguably the best conference in the country. Alyssa Jensen, class of 2013, is the starting setter for the Bears of the University of California – Berkeley. No one could give a better perspective on the battles in the PAC 12 than Alyssa and she was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to talk with one of our staffers.
HiP Staff -- Describe your experience getting to represent University of California – Berkeley going in to famous venues like the Galen Center, Pauley Pavilion and Maples.
Alyssa -- Being able to represent the University of California – Berkeley is an experience like no other. When we walk into these gyms it’s as if we are walking into history. We get to compete on the same courts that many legends have played which is a feeling that can’t be put into words.
HiP Staff -- What is life like in the PAC 12 knowing that every night you are going up against the best teams in the country night in and night out and playing against, literally, some of the best players in the world?
Alyssa -- Every week we have the opportunity to play at least one ranked team. No matter who we are playing, it’s basically a given that it will be a battle. No match can be taken lightly in the PAC 12. Yeah, it may sound like a lot of pressure, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. You can’t quite find competition like this anywhere else.
HiP Staff -- What is University of California – Berkeley’s practice gym like? Is it competitive? Is it energetic? Is it fun?
Alyssa -- Our practice gym is very competitive we have a large team this year which means competition in every position, it’s awesome because effort is the last thing you have to question in our gym.
HiP Staff -- How did your experience with High Performance prepare you for volleyball at University of California – Berkeley and in the PAC 12?
Alyssa -- High Performance provided me with the competitive environment that prepared me for how it is in college. Every week we play the best of the best and that competitive spirit is very important.
HiP Staff -- What advice would you give the girls currently in the High Performance program if they want to one day play in a conference like the PAC 12 or at a school like the University of California – Berkeley?
Alyssa -- The advice I have for girls who want to compete at a high level of Division 1 volleyball would be to keep working hard and never let someone tell you you’re not good enough. In college, it’s important to remember where you came from because you’ll be faced with many challenges but in the end, remember why you're here to begin with and hopefully it's because you love this sport!
Alyssa is having a great season in her first year as a first time starter at setter for the Bears. She is currently 26th in all of NCAA D1 Volleyball in assists with 1,034 for the season. You can catch Alyssa and the Bears in action on November 23rd vs Utah and on November 28th vs Stanford on the PAC 12 Network.