Sept. 16, 2013
Alexandra Palmer is in her senior year as the Golden Gopher setter. Transferring from Santa Clara as a junior, Palmer saw a majority of action last season. Palmer led Minnesota to its best-ever team hitting percentage last year at .292. As she set up the offense, Palmer added 1,247 assists last year, 226 digs and 18 aces. In her senior year, Palmer has 318 assists as the Gophers have hit .326 so far this season.
Gophersports: You’ve been with the Gopher program for a year now. What have you learned being within the Minnesota system?
Alexandra Palmer: I’ve learned about how to be a great teammate on and off the court and building relationships through volleyball.
GS: How is it to be the starting setter on the Minnesota court after coming from a school like Santa Clara and the competition for that role here?
AP: It’s been amazing. I have worked hard for a very long time to try and earn that spot and I got it. I just continue to maintain that work effort and help my team get better.
GS: Even though you’re a setter, you sometimes have to dig out that first ball. Talk a little about your defensive skills.
AP: I love playing defense and consider myself very greedy as a defender. Hugh (McCutcheon) is trying to break me of that, but I love digging. I want to make sure every hitter gets their confidence crushed on the other side of the net.
GS: Minnesota has been competing for three weeks now. What has the team learned?
AP: I think we learned a lot about how to compete and maintain control on our side of the court and how to just battle even if things aren’t going our way. Teams are going to step up and play their best games against us and for the most part, I thought we have been able to maintain a very good focus through that.
GS: You’ve got a lot of young, but talented players. As a starting senior setter, talk about how you communicate with team on and off the court.
AP: The younger players here are great. I give them a lot of credit in their willingness to learn and to process information. They are very open into what I am telling them by encouraging them, but also giving them tactical information. It’s not difficult to talk and communicate with them. I’m able to get my message across because they are so willing to learn.
GS: You’re a Latin major. What do you plan on doing with your degree?
AP: I would like to be a high school English and Latin teacher and coach high school/club volleyball. I would love to teach Latin in a high school setting, but I’m aware that a lot of schools don’t have Latin as an option. I’m going to get that English credential first, along with the Latin credential to give myself a little buffer as to what I can teach.
GS: Being from California, what is one thing that you miss about California and the thing you like best about Minnesota?
AP: What I miss most about California is the smell of the salty air. I smell it every time I get off of the plane when I go home and it just gives me goose bumps; I love it. But, in Minnesota, what I love the most is seeing snow. It makes me happy every single time. The Minnesotans groan about it, but I love it. Last year I made my first snow angel, by myself, in front of the ROTC Building on campus. I got a lot of awkward looks, but it was one of the best experiences I’ve had.