Interview: Merideth Marsh

Freshmam women's basketball player Merideth Marsh recently spoke with VandyMania before a practice. Marsh is a 5-9 guard from Louisville, Ky. who is seeing increased playing time for the Commodores. Vanderbilt hosts Auburn today at Memorial Gym (2 PM).

Don Yates: How are you liking your first year at Vanderbilt?

Merideth Marsh: It's good. Academically it's pretty hard; it's a struggle but I'm a pretty hard nosed worker when it comes to academics because I know that I have to work hard. It's been a struggle for me but I have to work through it. Here with basketball, everything is going about as well as I could have planned it. Things are coming and going, we are having a great season and I'm really happy with it. To see our overall production, like with each other as a team, it's really good. Our team unity is good. I couldn't be happier anywhere else.  I'm glad I'm here.

DY: So how is it as a freshman playing for Coach Balcomb?

MM: It's tough; of course it's tough for any freshman. She's the type of coach that wants you to learn from your mistakes. She's not going to beat you down, like beat it down your throat because she wants you to learn from your mistakes. She wants you to understand why you made a mistake so you can fix it next time because before you can fix a mistake you have to understand what you did wrong. She really does a good job at it and I've learned a lot from her because I want to be a future coach.

DY: What do you know about Auburn?

MM: I heard they played UT close but our thing is we don't try to worry about the other team so much because if we do what we need to do as a team then we can win any game. We might change minor things but we are not going to make major changes for a team to incorporate their style.

DY: Everybody say you have to give 100% for every game but how to do get yourself up a team that maybe is not as successful as a Tennessee or Duke?

MM: It is kind of hard. As you can see during the season we had like droughts where we'd play like really good and then we'd we times when we'd we play down to the level of other teams. It is kind of hard but we just try to build each other up the whole time and keep each other focused because before every game we have like key points to do and we try to do them every game.

DY: Can you give an example of some key points?

MM: Dominate the boards, get back in transition, transition defense, stop the ball. We try to do those every game.

DY: How about Caroline Williams? I read in the media guide that you said she was the best motivator. I also saw that several other players picked her as the best motivator. What makes her a good motivator?

MM: She's a senior and she's been around. She's been through thick and thin. She just knows what to say sometimes at the right times. She's our best vocal leader. When she sees that someone is down or sees that they are not playing hard or coach said something to them then she'll say like "it's okay you'll get it right next time." Certain things she says at the right time and I look up to her for that.

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