Cougar of the Week: Rachel Webb

Rachel Webb (’19) of Celina, Texas has had a banner year for Clark Volleyball. It continued last weekend with convincing wins against Coast Guard and Western New England. She is the starting setter on what is currently an undefeated team at 10-0, and leads the NEWMAC in assists per set. She sat down with The Scarlet to talk about her team’s success, making new friends, and museums.

Photo by Alex Rakovshik
Photo by Alexander Rakovshik

Scarlet: Great games Saturday. I saw you slide on the floor to make it into the team photo at the end.

Webb: [Laughs] Yeah. I’m that weird person.


Scarlet: Just make sure you don’t hurt yourself sliding, but you had every reason to after two decisive victories. The outcome only seemed in question in the first sets of each game. What adjustments did you make after each first set?

Webb: Honestly we just settled down. After you get that first set under your belt, you can kind of just play. And now you’ve read the team, you know what they’re going to run, you can figure out what they’re doing offensively, so it’s easier to kind of get it down.


Scarlet: It must also be difficult to get up for every point when the team hasn’t lost yet. How has the team been able to fight complacency?

Webb: Shannon [Glass-Smythe (’16)] is a great captain and she’s good about telling us we need to stick with it. And Mia [Cattaneo (’17)], who’s our libero, is always on my case. Our team is really close, so it’s just nice to have them be like, “Hey, we have to do this now.”


Scarlet: What’s it like to hear about how this team is the best its been in the past several years?

Webb: I mean, it makes everybody feel good about themselves [laughs]. Ana [Mercado (’19)] and I will talk and we’ll be like, “This is crazy that we’re freshmen and this is happening.” But I just take it one step at a time.


Scarlet: How did you get into volleyball?

Webb: So I hated volleyball in sixth grade, but my first ever volleyball coach talked me into it. So I was a middle blocker, and I didn’t play club until eighth grade. And my freshman year of club, my coach was like, “You kind of suck as a hitter, be a setter.” And I was like, “okay,” [laughs]. So I became a setter and took lessons that summer and got better and better. And now I’m here and I still need to get better and better.


Scarlet: Have you played with better outside hitters than at Clark?

Webb: Well, I come from a region in Texas that’s just a really strong region overall, and I mean I have. There was one outside hitter on my team who went DI to Syracuse. She was 5’8, and she could jump twice my height.


Scarlet: Oh wow. Do the players here remind you of those players back home?

Webb: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Marina [Ramos (’18)] and Shannon run just as fast offense as I did before, and they give so much feedback. And if I give them complete crap, they deal with it and get great kills off of it. Oh yeah, there’s no difference honestly. They’re all great.


Scarlet: How have you been getting along with everyone on the team so far?

Webb: Oh everybody’s awesome. The first day, they were like, “Hey, if you need something, if you need help…” which is awesome. I meet with Mia bi-weekly and we do check-ins where she’s like, “Hey, how are you doing? How are classes?” which is awesome. I talk to Shannon. I talk to Courtney [Pharr (’17)] a lot. Me and Courtney are friends, I feel like. She might not claim it, but we are [laughs]. I warm up every practice with Ana, and I ride on the bus with Rayme [Quiban (’19)].


Scarlet: Any team-bonding events yet? Apple picking?

Webb: I mean, we’ve gone out to dinner, and gotten fro-yo, or frozen yogurt, or whatever people call it.


Scarlet: Not as much of a thing in Texas?

Webb: Ice cream, man. Why wouldn’t you just go for ice cream? Why would you eat yogurt?


Scarlet: I guess some people think frozen yogurt is healthier, but then you just end up putting a bunch of candy in it anyway.

Webb: Yeah. Why not just go for ice cream? I don’t know, I’m an ice cream person.


Scarlet: I’m with you. So what are you studying at Clark?

Webb: I’m looking at double-majoring in history and business.


Scarlet: Sounds like you have a plan of what you want to do with your history degree then.

Webb: I would love to be a curator of a museum. Or, I can settle for an archivist [laughs], no but yeah. I want to be a curator. That’s the ultimate dream.


Scarlet: What are your favorite museums?

Webb: I can’t answer that question yet because I haven’t gone through all my bucket list museums yet.


Scarlet: What are your bucket list museums?

Webb: I still have to go to New York, I still have London, I still have Cairo, I still have museums all over the world I need to go to, so I can’t pick one yet.


Scarlet: Understandable. The team will be playing some top teams in the NEWMAC in Babson and MIT this week. How confident do you feel about those games?

Webb: I mean, I’m just going to go in and play smart, and play my game, and see if I can outsmart them. They’re human beings, so I’m going to see if I can communicate one-on-ones, and get my hitters in the best position, and make sure I play my defense so the defense doesn’t have to worry about my position. I’m kind of cocky, just a little bit, but you have to go in as a setter thinking you can do it because nobody else will run the offense. If we went and played Penn State, the national champions, I’d be thinking, “Okay. I can do this. I can outsmart them.”


Clark Volleyball will take on MIT on Tuesday, September 29 in the Kneller Athletic Center as they look to further their undefeated record.