JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 23, 2010) - ETSU senior Whitney Cogburn recently sat down with ETSUBucs.com to talk about the offseason and the team as they have been practicing in preparation for the 2010 volleyball season. Cogburn is one of six seniors on this year's team and is a local product from nearby Kingsport, Tennessee. Cogburn led the team last season with 270 kills and was a member of the A-Sun All-Academic Team.
ETSUBucs.com: With the disappointing 2009 season, how did the spring shape up for the team and what did you work on to improve for the upcoming season?
Cogburn: We worked a lot on team chemistry and just the simple detail oriented things. We are a really good team and we can beat anyone in our conference but last year we did not put the little things together that we needed to help us win. During the offseason we worked on the small things like blocking, passing, and serving that will help us succeed this season.
ETSUBucs.com: What has the team done during the summer to help prepare for the upcoming season?
Cogburn: The coaches gave us a program before we left for the summer that was made up of work outs and conditioning Monday through Friday. Also, the girls that were here could participate in a voluntary open gym and when we were all in town we played as much as we could.
ETSUBucs.com: I know most of the team helped out with camp over the summer so what is that experience like having the opportunity to pass on some of your knowledge?
Cogburn: It is actually really fun even though it is a week long process and it gets tiring after a couple of days. You are there all day but it is really fun to watch the girls especially when they realize that they have accomplished something. It is also satisfying to watch the older girls play together and succeed and when the smaller girls succeed at something that they have been working on all week makes it really enjoyable.
ETSUBucs.com: As the season approaches the team has set goals so what has this team taken from last season and put toward setting goals for this upcoming season?
Cogburn: We got the academic award for having a high GPA so we are definitely pushing to do that again this year and then on the court we know we have an experienced and talented group coming back so we need to use our talents to the best of our abilities to push us this season especially in conference play.
ETSUBucs.com: What are the strengths of this year's team?
Cogburn: The fact that we have so many talented girls. We have girls that can play everywhere and anywhere. Also, we have a good mix of newcomers to go along with an experienced group of six seniors to lead so that definitely is a strength of this year's team.
ETSUBucs.com: What can the fans expect from the talented newcomers this season?
Cogburn: They can definitely expect a lot because they are really talented. It will be interesting to see how we all work together but the newcomers are all really well prepared and they are really pushing the returning players.
ETSUBucs.com: Speaking of the senior leadership on this team, what are some things that the seniors have done to push the newcomers along?
Cogburn: We definitely let them know what is expected of them right away. They don't come in not knowing what is expected and that the upperclassmen are going to push them day in and day out. We are not in their face about it but we aren't easy on them either and I think that is really helpful for them.
ETSUBucs.com: What are you most excited about this season?
Cogburn: It will be really exciting to be a senior and have that leadership on this team and the fact that our practices have gone so well. It is just going to be exciting to see how well we do because we are an underdog and we are not expected to be near the top of the conference, but that is a good feeling because we know we can surprise any opponent.