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A Minute with Alysson

November 12, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Alysson Sanders is one of seven Lady Flames with over 150 kills this season.

Alysson Sanders is one of seven Lady Flames with over 150 kills this season.

As the Liberty Lady Flames volleyball team prepares for this week's Big South Volleyball Championship, LibertyFlames.com caught up with senior Alysson Sanders. In the following interview, the outside hitter from Bear, Del., reflects on her four years at Liberty.

Why did you decide to attend Liberty?
I found out Liberty was a Division I school where I would have fellowship with Christian athletes, which was my main priority. I wanted to be able to play with a group of girls who had the same beliefs as me. Having 13 sisters in Christ on the court is such a great experience.

What has been your best memory during your time here?
A lot of my great memories are with my teammates—on the court, on the bus and in the dorms. We just do random things together. You know, if we are bored on a weekend off, we sometimes all decide to go do something. We have had such a good time together. It will be hard leaving them.

How has Liberty changed since you've been here?
The size of the school has changed. I used to walk around campus and recognize a lot of people. Now that doesn't happen as much, but maybe it's because I am getting old. (laughing)

What has been your favorite class that you've taken at Liberty?
I love Kinesiology 311 with Dr. Farver. The focus of the class was on the anatomy of the body. We learned how and why joints and muscles move, which is something I am really interested in.

What's next for you after graduation?
I would love to stay at Liberty. I don't want to leave. I am looking into the master's program right now and will be interning next semester with Coach Bill Gillespie in the strength and conditioning room. I would love to be on staff here as a strength and conditioning coach.

What does it feel like to be nearing the end of your career as a Lady Flame?
It's ridiculous. I get so emotional knowing my volleyball career is ending, especially when I think about coming in as a freshman and adjusting to a new coach. The whole team had to learn how Coach Pinder worked and we were all adjusting. There were fun times and there were hard times but this year, being my last year, it's just unbelievable. All those hard times we have put in are paying off, and it is the best thing in the world to see the rewards.

How much does it mean to you to be able to finish your career with your sister, Kirstyn, on the team with you?
It's pretty special. We've played together off and on since eighth grade, so we are used to playing next to each other. It was nice to have her on the team, especially during the games when we would play right next to each other and get blocks together, because that took us back to high school memories.

What role have your parents played in your success thus far?
My parents are my best friends. I can tell them anything. They are always honest with me, whether it's going to hurt a little or not. I think something important in a relationship with your parents is honesty. They are always there to support me, but at the same time they keep me in check with my walk with the Lord. I know they give me good advice.

What do you see as your role on the team this year?
On and off the court, I just try to be a leader and someone to encourage the girls. I am an upperclassman, so we don't even realize how much the younger girls look up to us.

How did it feel to beat Winthrop at home this season?
Every year in preseason, we come in and answer this questionnaire Coach Pinder gives us. It is the same one every year. For all four years, we've been writing 'Beat Winthrop. Win Big South' and have been getting closer each year. But for my fourth year, to write it down and see us accomplishing those goals is such an amazing feeling.

How has the volleyball program changed during your four years as a Lady Flame?
In the past, there was doubt, and it usually held us back. This year, there is no doubt. It doesn't matter if it is Winthrop or any other team. That's one thing which has changed about our program. We have a little chip on our shoulder, and that comes from the wins we've gotten. We go out on the court and we expect to win. The feeling is the same for all of the girls. Every single player has a feeling inside that we are going to win this match. When a team has that, it is hard to beat.

What advice would you leave your teammates as you graduate?
Trust the Lord in everything you do. This year has been awesome to just give everything up to the Lord. As a team, we've really tried to make sure our hearts are right, amidst all the success we are having, because success comes from the Lord.

Interview Conducted by Mollie Richards
Liberty Athletic Media Relations Student Assistant for Volleyball