Each Wednesday throughout the volleyball season, fans will get the opportunity to know one of the Liberty volleyball players a bit better through a question-and-answer session. Today, the series continues with senior middle blocker Rachel Denton.
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." This verse always reminds me that no matter what trial I find myself in, that some good will come of it. When I push through and persevere through a hard time, it makes me both a stronger Christian and human being, and I know that when hard times come in the future I can handle them.
What is your favorite movie?
I would have to say my favorite movie would have to be "Oklahoma" or "Singing in the Rain." I love musicals and older films. The actors were triple threats, not only acting, but able to sing and dance as well.
What is your favorite memory while competing in your sport?
My favorite memory would have to be my junior year of high school when we beat Wimberley, the defending state champion, one game. They hadn't lost a game in 20-some odd matches and our team came together and played a flawless game.
What is your most embarrassing memory while competing in your sport?
My most embarrassing moment while playing volleyball was in 7th grade. One of my teammates had stopped to tie her shoe, and I never heard the ref whistle to put the ball back in play. The opposing team served right at me, and I caught the ball and rolled it back under the net, having no idea I just cost my team a point!
I came to Liberty because…
On my official visit I made a connection with the girls on the team. I could tell each one of them loved Liberty, the Lord and volleyball. Despite the cold weather and the snow on the ground, I knew immediately this is where I wanted to play volleyball and get my college education.
Share something that people don't know about you.
Most people don't know that I am an insomniac. I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and getting back to sleep, no matter how tired I might be. Often times I am falling asleep when my alarm goes off for morning weights.
What has been your defining moment as an athlete?
My most defining moment as an athlete would have to have been in high school when I received a letter from a young girl at my church. In the letter she said she had been at my basketball game and had watched me and the way I handled myself. That particular basketball game had been very rough and aggressive and close. We had won in overtime. It had been hard to keep my temper, but as I read that letter I was thankful I had. It hit me then how much more people look at you when you are an athlete. Ever since then I have been careful in the way I handle myself on and off the court in hopes that I am a positive example to someone.
What is one question you would ask Dr. Falwell?
What was your strategy for getting Macel to leave her fiancé and become yours?
If you could be somebody else for a day, who would you be and why?
If I could be someone else for a day I would like to be Junie B. Jones, a fictional character from books by Barbara Parks. Junie B. Jones is in kindergarten and has her own views and opinions about everything. She is not afraid to speak her mind, and gives different perspectives on many everyday occurrences. What I like most about Junie B. is her carefree attitude on life, the child-like innocence that was lost on me years ago. I would love to live one day in her shoes to go back and remember childhood, but with Junie B. flair.
Who is your favorite Liberty athlete?
Autum Joy Poorman Black. We came in together our freshman year and have become best friends. Throughout our careers we have pushed each other in the classroom, weight room and on the court to be the best we can be. I am so proud of the success she has had and will continue to have throughout her career and life.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
It's hard to say one specific set of advice. My parents have always given great advice for any situation I have been in, so I know my best advice ever given has been from them. A couple I like are: "Remember God first" and "God created you for a reason." In any situation these would help me put it in perspective and hopefully handle situations better.
If you could change one rule in your sport, what would it be and why?
I would like to be able to block on the serve. It would completely change serving and serve receive strategies on the court. When a team successfully blocks the serve it could absolutely change the course of the match, much like getting a block off a hitter.
After graduation I would like to …
Go back to Texas and get my Masters in Speech Pathology. With that I could work with school districts and students, or a health care system and work with people of all ages from infants to patients recovering from a stroke or dealing with healing loss.
In my spare time, I like to …
Read and spend time with my chocolate lab, Buck. Buck is my resident therapist, comedian and steadfast friend. Even though he's a dog and not perfect, he is a great example of unconditional love and no matter what, he always is happy to see me.
Words that describe me on the athletic field (and why) are …
Positive and hard working. On the court teammates can always look to me to be positive and encouraging. They know that I have faith in them and in their ability and that I am behind them and the team. I also will always give my all on the court. I may not always be the fastest or the most athletic, but I will always try to be the hardest worker.
If you could compete in any sport against any athlete, who would it be and why?
I would like to compete with David Robinson in a basketball game. Basketball has long been my passion and I miss playing it competitively. If I was able to compete against him in any fashion I would love it. He was my first favorite professional athlete, and I have a huge respect for him. Through his success and fame he kept God and family first.
My craziest ambition in life is to …
Be a food critic. I would love to go to restaurants and try all of their foods and critique it. I will try any kind of food at least once, and to be one of the first to try famous chefs' recipes and then get to give my opinion on them would be an amazing job!
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I don't have a ritual that I am superstitious about messing up. Before games I get treatment for my shins and back. Before I go out on the court I say a prayer and then head out to play my best.
Who is one person in history that you would like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Jonah. I would want him to give me a first-hand account on being swallowed by a fish! Jonah is one of my favorite Bible stories, and I have often wondered what it was like.
A place I've always wanted to visit, but never had the chance is (and why)?
I have always wanted to visit Japan. My dad spent two summers there while he was in college, and the pictures he brought back were amazing. I want to ride on the Bullet train, see Mount Fuji and try every kind of Japanese dish I can.