A freshman, Pressey has helped to offset the loss of All-American Mia Jerkov this year. She currently ranks fourth in the conference in kills per game (4.09/g) and seventh in points (4.45/g). She is one of the leading candidates for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
Q: So, Pac-10 Player of the Week, how does that feel?
A: Oh, it feels good. Actually I was kind of surprised. I felt that I played well, but I was under the impression that it took more. But I guess they thought it was enough.
Q: What did you think it was going to take? Beating Stanford in a five-game
match, six kills in the deciding game, double-digit digs
A: Thats true, thats true, but at the same time, I felt that maybe it was over a two-week period, that they looked at more than just the one week, I dont know
Angie? Its not called the Pac-10 Player of Two
A: [Laughs] No, no, no, I meant I thought that they would only choose players who played two matches in the space of one week, and I only played one. But I guess not!
Q: You have made an immediate impact on the team. Did you expect to make
this kind of impact so soon?
A: Actually, no. Thinking that Mia [Jerkov] would be back, I was like, "I guess Ill have to work hard and see where I can fit in. It doesnt matter where I play as long as Im on the court." But seeing that Mia didnt come back, I had to step up my game a little bit knowing that Id actually be starting. I mean, my coaches and my teammates definitely helped me to fit in.
Q: Mia Jerkov was all-everything for Cal, the definitive go-to player. This
year, it seemed that at times the lack of a go-to player has resulted in some inconsistent
play. Do you think the team needs to have a go-to player?
A: Not so much. You just need to have players who can get it done. You dont need a star player, you just need a team that plays together. I feel thats what our team is finally doing. Were playing together and were not relying so much on one person. As long as everyone does their job, usually the outcome will be in our favor.
Q: On the other hand, in the Stanford match, in the fifth game, Cal jumped
out to a lead on three kills by you and never looked back. Was this decided in advance, that
theyd go to you early and often?
A: Oh no. I think [setter] Sam [Carter] was like, shes hot, give her the ball, just like with Camille [Leffall]. Camille had maybe two or three kills less than me but she also kept getting the ball. She was amazing. If you put it away, Sam will give it to you.
Q: You were held out of certain games early in the season because of
A: I hurt myself in the Houston tournament. I landed on another girls leg and hurt myself. I strained the muscle on the side of my calf. Im still having problems with it, so Im just trying to limit my reps. But some of the games I was held out just because I wasnt playing well.
Q: OK, lets talk about something that has everyone buzzing, and
thats your jumping ability. Whats your vertical?
A: I wish I could tell you. I havent tested it. I mean I know I can hang on the [basketball] rim, easily. I can do that. So I guess thatd be 102" or 103" but I dont know what itd be full-out in a game, with adrenaline going I dont know. Maybe Ill get it tested in the off-season.
Q: Ive heard that you think your hops came from your mom, not your
A: Well Im built more like my mom. I have my moms legs. She ran track and played basketball too. I mean, its probably a combination of both my parents. Theyre both athletes, so I have good genes.
Q: Is that all natural ability, or have you had to work on it?
A: Ive never worked on my vertical due to the fact that I played three sports in high school, so I never had time to train and lift weights, so itll be interesting how high I can get if I worked on it.
Q: You were also an excellent basketball player and a star in track and
field. In fact, you were named POY in all three sports last year. What your favorite
A: Basketball is my favorite sport. Ive played it my whole life. My whole family play it, my Dad played it.
Q: Is there any chance youd consider walking on to the basketball
A: I dont know, its been up in the air. Im here to play volleyball, first and foremost. But I would love to do another sport. I tend to get injured playing basketball, I guess because its a contact sport. I probably wouldnt play basketball, although I do love it. But I might run track.
Q: Most folks know that your father is Paul Pressey, former NBA player and
current coach for the Boston Celtics. Did your family move around a lot when you were
A: We did. It didnt have an effect on me until I moved from middle school to high school. We moved to Florida from Texas, which was a good thing I guess, because if we didnt, I probably wouldnt be playing volleyball. I would have played basketball had we stayed in Texas, because I would have followed my sister and played AAU basketball. Instead, when we got to Florida, a friend asked me to come play club volleyball with her, and thats how I got serious about volleyball.
Q: Did you ever live here in the Bay Area, when your dad played for the
A: I lived in Alameda.
Q: Do you remember him playing for the Warriors?
A: I vaguely remember. I was in first or second grade back then.
Q: You were a top-ranked junior player and probably had your pick of
schools. Why Cal?
A: Im a warm weather person. Even the rain today is a little shaky for me, so I knew it was going to be a school in California. I guess Texas would have been a top choice too, but they didnt recruit me as enthusiastically as Cal did. I mean, I would hear from Cal almost daily. And [former club teammate] Sam was here already, so that was a plus. I really liked the campus; its really pretty. I also wanted to be at place where I know that the competition would be good. The East coast, theres nothing there. The Midwest, a little more. But in the Pac-10, on any given day, you never know whos gonna win.
Q: Do you think your size scared some schools away?
A: Yes, I think so. Because, I am a little on the small size, yes, I know.
Q: Besides your jumping and hitting ability, you also get a lot of digs.
What are you working on?
A: I guess just learning the game. Like basketball, I know the sport. But volleyball, I dont know the game that well. [Associate Head Coach Lee Maes] is so specific in teaching his techniques, and I need to take what he says and apply it on the court. There are so many things that he says that I need to do. For instance, we have a blocking technique that Id never used before. But its the new way of passing, new way of blocking, new way to do everything.
Q: Did you realize it was going to be so much more intense in college?
A: I did not know! The first time I saw a scouting report, I was like, "Okay! What is this?!" It was 6 pages long, all about what we need to do, what we need to remember in this rotation or that rotation And you have to know all this instantly in the game. You cant take a time out and say, "Um, what are we doing?"
Q: So its almost another academic course
A: Oh yes, binders and all!
Q: Speaking of classes, do you know what you want to major in?
A: I dont know what I want to major in. I think right now, Im just eliminating what I dont want to major in. Im taking these courses where Im like, "Once this is over, Im never taking that subject again!"
Q: Well, you have plenty of time to decide. In terms of your team, you just
lost libero Jillian Davis for the year. How will that impact the team?
A: My team is really strong. Alexis [Kollias] stepped right in and did a great job. I have complete confidence in her. I mean, weve never passed next to each other before, so it was strange at first, but it helps that shes so vocal.
Q: So you have the L.A. teams coming in this weekend. You guys beat SC 3-0
on their court, so theyll have payback on their mind
A: Oh yeah, theyre gonna kill us! [Laughs] I have no doubt in my mind!
Q: All their 64", 65" players
A: I know! I only come up to their shoulders well maybe their armpits!
Q: Dont get too close then. But at least youve beaten them. Cal
has never beaten UCLA before.
A: I know, its crazy! Cal played them when I came on my visit last year, and I remember thinking we should be beating them. I dont know what it is about them, but hopefully we can reverse that this week.
Q: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
A: I hope to stay consistent. I feel that my team relies on me a lot, and I hope I can fulfill their expectations. I hope our team can stay together and play as one, because thats when we play well.
Q: Anything you want to tell Cal fans out there?
A: Our team is awesome! I love our team, I love every single one of them. This is the only team Ive been on where there are no catfights, no "oh look at her!" No gossiping behind other peoples backs. We are so close-knit. I love it!
Q: Well wait until this interview comes out with all the quotes Im
going to make up and theyll all be asking, "What did she say about me?!"
A: [Laughs] Right, right. Youd better not!
Q: Thank you so much for your time.
A: Youre welcome!
California plays #4 USC on Thursday night and #16 UCLA on Friday night. Both games will be played at Haas Pavilion and start at 7 p.m.
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