Steffi Sooter has seen significant action here in Big Ten play. In the opening weekend of conference action, the Santa Cruz, Calif., native had career-bests of 20 and 23 digs against Illinois and Northwestern. In her second season with the Golden Gophers, Sooter has played in 40 sets and averages 2.47 digs per set. Here's an interview conducted prior to the start of conference play.
Oct. 3, 2011
Q: Did you have a good summer and what did you do?
A: My summer was good. I had the chance to go back home because I don’t get to see my family as often as many of my other teammates do. So I went home for most of the summer and it was really good just being back. Home is just a good place to re-group.
Q: As a California native, what’s it like for you to endure a Minnesota winter?
A: Coming into it, I was actually really, really nervous. I didn’t know what to wear. My mom tried to prepare me and got me snow pants, flat on snow pants. I told her ‘I’m not going to wear that’. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it to be. There are times where it gets to the extreme lows but other than that, I’m pretty tough.
Q: What has been your favorite thing about Minnesota so far?
A: I guess just meeting my teammates. I’ve created such good friendships with most of them. I love meeting new people and they have definitely been an impact on my life. It’s been fun.
Q: How is living with your teammates?
A: I live with one of my teammates. Most of the volleyball players live here. Her name is Bri, (Haugen) and she’s the best. It’s just fun. We always have movie nights or go watch Jersey Shore or other shows together. It has been fun just having all your teammates live in the same building.
Q: Switching to volleyball, as a defensive specialist you’ve got to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. How does that affect your mindset as you prepare to enter the game?
A: I’m kind of one of those people that try not to let fear get in the way of things. I’m a very mental kind of player so right before a game I just plug in my iPod. I don’t really think about it during that time. I’m just focused on trying to do my best because once fear gets into your head, you’re just done. I know what I have to do and I’m going to get it done.
Q: What kind of specific things are you looking for before you get into a game?
A: I first look at energy. I feel like I bring a lot of energy to the team so I look at that. I look at positioning of the block and what may be best. Being in the right position is huge and learning tendencies is a big part of it. Just being stop balanced. Anything that I can do, serving whatever it is. I just want the team to succeed in any way possible.