Q&A with Volleyball's Krystle Higgins
Aug. 15, 2012
Senior middle hitter Krystle Higgins returns as team captain for the Eagles for the second consecutive season. The Inglewood, Calif. native currently ranks sixth in career total blocks (266) and fifth in career block assists (217) in the BC record books. She sat down with BC Athletics to discuss the upcoming season and to reflect on some of her experiences at the Heights.
How has training camp been going so far? Has anyone stood out in particular?
So far training camp has been going well. We're at the point now where we're getting used to the new team--how we're going to work, the system, and everything. I feel like now we're at the point where we can really make move in terms of gelling completely before we head into our first tournament. Everyone's kind of over the nerves of training camp so it's going well.
I think overall as far as standing out, since we do have such a large freshman class coming in, we're going to be relying on them heavily throughout the season. The sophomore veterans coming back, they've been standing out as being a great example, and setting a great example, for the freshmen who are looking up to them as the class that's ahead of them.
From the end of last season to the present what sort of improvements have you seen for the team?
Spring season we worked really hard on just trying to stay consistent--whether that's health wise, working-out wise, or even in a match--trying to stay consistent. In a game you start from one and go to 25 points. We had problems, I would think, last year just trying to stay consistent, finishing and closing games, and I think in the spring we really worked on that. So we come back in this preseason, we play little scrimmage games--we're seeing that we're able to close, we're seeing that we're able to finish games and stay consistent. I'm looking forward to transferring that from practice to the games for sure.
What does it mean to you to be a captain, now for the second year in a row?
It definitely means a lot. There's a lot of young people on the team, and I want to be the best example I can for them. It's weird that this is my last and final season so I just want to give everything, give a hundred percent in all areas, and that's on the court and off the court. I want to make it so that my teammates are comfortable coming to me with any questions or looking at me as an example player.
It's hard definitely two years in a row--it's like `wow.' Just seeing how much my teammates respect me enough to vote me two years in a row is a lot, and I just want to return that and give back to them as much as I can.
What are you looking forward to in your senior season?
Definitely ending with a better record than we have for my first three seasons overall, and I definitely see that happening. I'm just looking forward to working together with my teammates and me supporting them and them supporting me as I leave because I know I would play my heart out for the seniors who left, or seniors who came before me, so I'm looking forward for the team doing that for myself and the other senior, Val Mattaliano.
What strikes you about how you and the team have changed since your freshman year?
Definitely my confidence has grown since I was a freshman. I just remember my first match I was scared out of my mind, and now I enter matches knowing who I'm playing, I know names of other players on other teams. Knowing that BC Volleyball does have an identity and we are a team that people do recognize. I don't remember, freshman year, teams scouting us or teams before the game looking at this player, that player, and now my coaches are telling me that teams are looking out for you, watching you and things like that. So that's definitely something that has changed for not just myself but everybody overall, which is a great feeling to know that, in the future, that's going to be happening, and I've been part of something that has been set for the future.
Are there certain things you'd like to do, outside of volleyball, in your last year at the Heights?
Since I am from the West Coast I want to try to visit as many places on the East Coast as possible before I go back--definitely hitting up New York or Niagara Falls or D.C. I've been to Nantucket and to Martha's Vineyard which was kind of cool, a different experience. Just traveling because there's a lot on the East Coast, and it's way different from California.
You and eight of your teammates are from California. What does it mean for you to be so far from home but to have so many teammates from your home state at the same time?
It's definitely hard for the majority of us being away from home, literally opposite coasts, but just knowing that we do have each other, and we do come from similar backgrounds is a strength in and of itself. It's funny because we always talk about California and places from home, and all our other teammates are in the minority--it's interesting because that's who are team kind of is. It's great that we do have support from our family and friends who do get to try and come out to as many games as they can--it definitely means a lot.
You'll be in Los Angeles for the USC Tournament on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. How much are you looking forward to that trip?
It'll be interesting for most of us because we won't be going home, but we'll be in our hometown. That trip definitely means a lot to me and definitely to my other teammates. This is kind of my last chance to play in front of a large audience of my family and my friends because a lot of them don't get a chance to come out. That trip will be great because we'll have a strong BC presence. Chris [Head Coach Chris Campbell] is trying to get us to have at least 20 family and friends per player, that's from California, so that's a lot of people. It's great to be able to be back at home to show our teammates where we're from and just to have a good time and to bond as a team out there.
We're going to be doing a lot of bonding trips--a lot of sight-seeing, a lot of restaurants--but we're also going to be working hard. We'll be there for a whole week so we'll be practicing and lifting in addition to the tournament.
What are your expectations heading into the BC Invitational?
It definitely means a lot for us to be hosting this tournament and for it to be our first tournament. We're at home, feeling comfortable, in our environment, in our own zone--just displaying what we've done and how hard we've worked during training camp. My expectation is for us to win the tournament. We have great teams that we're playing, but definitely they're all beatable. I think with what he have--in the incoming freshmen and the veterans coming back--combining that will have us a great matchup for that weekend.
What are some of your personal and team goals for the season?
Obviously I can't do everything in one season. I have these four months to be the best player I can be. I just hope to continue improving my record on blocking, working my way up on there, and just being recognized by the ACC in some form or way for the four years that I've put into the conference. Just to be happy--you come in as a freshman and it's definitely not easy being a student-athlete. I just want to finish and say that I did all that I can do and I had a great time representing BC as a student-athlete.
As a team, definitely we want to finish at least middle of the conference. I think that's a goal that everyone on the team definitely has, and we expect nothing less. Last season we were extremely close to beating a lot of teams, and working hard this preseason, knowing how that feeling feels to lose, is definitely something that we don't want to feel again. We're ready to definitely get some more wins on the record. Our coaches have faith in us, and we definitely have faith in ourselves so we can do it.