Lauren Moscovic has transformed her game. The 5-10 senior from Stockton, California came to UF as a hitter, spent the past two seasons as the starting setter on teams that made the Final Four (NCAA runners-up last year), and now she's a defensive and serving specialist whose back row play has been instrumental in Florida's 22-2 record and number seven national ranking.
They are team leaders, both on and off the court, bright, intelligent and engaging young women who have a real presence on the Florida team. Ten minutes with them before practice is always an adventure. Here are a few questions and their answers, mostly about non-volleyball subjects.
Q: You are the captain of a Survivor team. Who are the three teammates from the volleyball team that you want with you?
JANE COLLYMORE: Well, I would start with Sherri Williams because of her personality. She's humorous and witty, so she wouldn't let anyone take things too seriously. She's a get the job done kind of person, too. I'd want Taylor Williams because we have the same kind of personality and we think alike. I'd want Rhian Davis because if there is trouble, she's a very quick thinker.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Sherri Williams would be my number one, Rhian Davis my number two and Rachel Engel. I would want Sherri because she's an outdoor freak who probably knows a fact about everything there is on the planet. Rhian I would want because she's really adventurous and I don't think anything scares her. I'd pick Rachel because she's the organic type and I think you would need someone like that.
Q: If you are on Fear Factor, is there anything that totally freaks you out?
JANE COLLYMORE: Anything involving snakes. I don't do snakes! For some reason I have an irrational fear of snakes. I can't contain myself around a snake and I really don't know why.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Eating a cockroach. I would do any kind of athletic thing. I would be so pumped about those things and I'd probably eat some worms if I had to, but no cockroaches. That's where I draw the line.
Q: Was there culture shock when you came to Florida?
JANE COLLYMORE: The weather was the real difference. It's blazing heat year round and after Colorado, heat, humidity and sweating all the time was a huge change.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Gainesville. Even though I'm from a place that's not so big (Stockton, California) Gainesville was a different place, that's for sure.
Q: Has there been a fear factor at UF since you've been here?
JANE COLLYMORE: I kept sweating so much just walking to class, I kept thinking that I was going to dehydrate one day. We never have this kind of humidity in Colorado.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: It used to be finance with Dr. Tapley but now I'm already in it and I'm doing okay so I think I've conquered my fear factor.
Q: Can you tell me about Mary Wise?
JANE COLLYMORE: From the moment I came here, she's been incredible. Mary takes care of us as people first, then as players. She has so much to offer as a coach and as a friend and that relationship has only grown since the first day I got here. It's a great relationship that I wouldn't trade for anything.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Four years ago all I could think about was coming to college and playing volleyball. That was really it. Volleyball was life. Basically, I've grown up and I feel like an adult now. A lot of that has to do with Mary. She makes sure we all know that there is a lot more to life than volleyball. When I got here she was Coach Wise. Now she's Mar, my friend.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
JANE COLLYMORE: I hope I'm still playing volleyball. I want to play as long as my body holds up and I can play well.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Hopefully, I'll have a good job and I'll be making money. I want to see what this master's degree (information sciences, she graduated with her bachelor's in three years) does and where it can take me. There are some pretty interesting places in this world.
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
JANE COLLYMORE: If I'm still playing volleyball, that would be great, but if I can't do that, then maybe something as a writer or editor since I'm a journalism/English major. And maybe that could help me land something in the music area, too. Being able to write about music would be great.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: If I'm having a good career in doing things that my master's degree trained me for, that would be good. But I could also see myself doing something with coaching. I can't see myself playing volleyball in the future, but I could see myself coaching. Just because I won't be playing doesn't mean I don't love it.
Q: Can you design the perfect day?
JANE COLLYMORE: Wow! I don't know where I would begin, but I know that the perfect day would be doing something with my friends.
LAUREN MOSCOVIC: Am I 21 years old yet? (She turned 21 five days after the interview)