Husker Q&A: Rachel Schwartz

By NU Athletic Communications

by Jessica Schwager

Lincoln native Rachel Schwartz waited two years to make her official libero debut for the Huskers and has already proven she was the right player for the job.  The junior is eighth in the Big 12 with 3.86 digs per game and has reached double figures in six of the last eight matches.

What has been your favorite Husker volleyball moment?
“Obviously the National Championship was a huge moment for us, but one of my favorite moments was when we were in China.  It was our last day and we were all at the spa together, and we went around as a team and it was a very emotional time.  Everybody told their roles and spoke about how they felt and where they were at as a person in life, not just as a volleyball player. It was really moving and really touching, so that was definitely one.”

What are your personal goals for this season?
“I have individual goals- like I want to pass a 2.5 and things like that.  But overall, I want to cherish every game and every moment that I have with these girls.  I’ve been with the seniors for three years and it’s going to be hard letting them go after this year.  So I think one of my goals is just to take everything day by day and learn from everything and develop friendships.”

What is your toughest challenge as libero?
“One of the challenges for sure is just learning how to contribute and staying focused throughout the whole game.  You have to be a very selfless player as a libero because you’re not going to get recognition.  You have to perform at a high level every day for your teammates and for your team.”

Who developed your volleyball career the most before you came to play at Nebraska?
“Actually, one of them for sure was my club basketball coach.  When I played for him I had to become extremely mentally strong and disciplined at a very young age.  I played for the Cornhusker Shooting Stars and his name was Dan Lesoing.  It was hard work.  He’d be in my face every second of every practice and every game.”

Why did you pick the number five?
“Well, for one it was available.  I just really liked the number.  To me it’s a really balanced number, I don’t know why exactly.  You have five fingers, five toes-a lot of things come in a five-so I think that’s why.”

In 2000 you were a ball girl at the Coliseum.  What is your favorite memory from that experience?
“I remember I was there when the 1995 team won the national championship.  But my fondest memory was always trying to get on TV.  We always wanted to be the ones to go out and wipe up the floor so we could maybe get on TV.”

What are three words to describe Coach Cook?
“Let’s see...goofy, serious and, I don’t know what the word would be, but he’s kind of like a dad-figure.  He really cares about us and what’s going on in our lives and he wants the best for us.”

As a Nebraska native, who was your favorite volleyball player growing up?
“I really liked Jaime Krondak because she was from Lincoln East as well.  I also liked Laura Pilakowski.”

Last season, libero Dani Busboom got to choose another color of jersey (black) in addition to the red and white jerseys.  Did you get to choose another color this season to add to your red and white jerseys?
“Well I have a black one that I wear sometimes, but we don’t get to choose any other color but that.”

Take Husker fans through your typical pre-game routine:
“First of all we go eat and I take my time eating.  I’m always one of the last ones there and then I’ll go, depending on the night before, I’ll either shower before the game or I’ll just lay around and watch t.v. with some of my teammates and then I’ll go through and get all ready.  I’ll do my hair, my make up and all that stuff.  Then I always spend a half an hour by myself and I look at our scouting reports and I have bible verses that I look at and review and I pray a lot before the game.  Once that’s over, I just try to have fun.  I turn up some music and let loose.”

You room with Maggie Griffin, Sarah Pavan and Rachel Holloway, right? Are there any television shows or movies you watch together?
“We used to watch the O.C. together and One Tree Hill, but all of our schedules are kind of different now, so we don’t spend a lot of time together.  Maggie likes to watch Food Network, so I like to watch that with her a lot.  I’m a really big fan of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ and ‘Law and Order,” so she’ll watch those with me sometimes.”

What’s your favorite thing to do on a day off?
“I really like to just get things done that I need to do like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, homework and all of that stuff.  Once I get all of that done I just like to chill.  Hanging out with friends is a really big one for me.”

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