Women’s Athlete of the Week, Kea-Marie Olaso, #2 Volleyball

Chris Schnabel

Chris Schnabel: Player of the week, how does it feel to get this honor, knowing you were awarded it because of your high level of play?

Photo Provided by Charger Athletics
Photo Provided by Charger Athletics

Kea-Marie Olaso: “It feels good knowing the hard work is paying off. It’s cool to get acknowledgement, but at the same time we have to focus on the games; one game at a time. To me, it’s more like a complement.”

CS: You guys had a 3-0 sweep this week against some of the best teams in the eastern region. Is this team dangerous enough to go far in the post season?

KMO: “Every team is dangerous, it doesn’t matter what anyone’s record is if they come to play, you have to be prepared. We try not to underestimate teams. Every team is equal in our mindset.”

CS: You had a ton of digs this week to go along with some aces and coming close to your first career double-double. What’s been your mindset for these games?

KMO: “Basically just listening to what my coaches have been telling me. I’ve been getting in my head a lot of the games and focusing too much on what I was doing wrong, so these past games were more of hiding in my head and not letting the ball drop while helping my mindset.”

CS: Is practice toward the end of the season harder, or feel harder, then when the season first kicks off?

KMO: “I’d say it’s like a different kind of harder. In the beginning its hard because your getting use to all of the players and how they play along with the new positions, so you get mixed up sometimes so that makes that hard, but then at the end of the season the hardest part is trying to get better, trying to work on everything you were doing wrong.”

CS: What was the highlight of your season so far?

KMO: “The game against Bentley. That was the highest accomplishment because we were down in each set by about 10 points, but then we came back and beat them. We’ve tended to struggle a bit under pressure, but that game we built up all of our energy. We felt so accomplished at the end because we really fought for it.”

CS: As a sophomore, you’re going to in the future be looked at as a leader. Are you ready to take on that responsibility?

KMO: “Yeah, I really feel it doesn’t really matter what position you play on the court or if you’re on the bench, anyone can bring energy or bring something to the game. I want to be a leader— I want to lead this team.”

CS: Who do you look at as a leader of this team?

KMO: “Amber. She’s our senior; everyone looks up to her and looks to her experience on the team.”

CS: What made you decide to come to New Haven? (Originally from Hawaii)

KMO: “I didn’t know much about the school or this area because I’ve never been to the east coast, but just talking to coach Salters on the phone, and [UNH] having the most winning record in D-2 spoke to me, and I wanted to be a part of something like that. After meeting the team, seeing how close they were and the environment, the new experience brought me here.”