Cougar of the Week: Shannon Glass-Smythe

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By Scott Levine

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Image: Scott Levine

The women’s volleyball team is off to a great start this year, thanks in large part to sophomore Shannon Glass-Smythe. Glass-Smythe hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, plays outside hitter, and currently leads the team in kills. She had 12 of them in a close game against Eastern Connecticut State, a game that she remembers clearly:

Scarlet: Okay so it’s 1-1 going into the third set. You guys get on a roll partially due to your five kills in the third set yet Eastern Connecticut manages to take the set. What was your mentality going into the fourth set?

Shannon: Volleyball is a game of mistakes and coming back, you need to keep a positive attitude. We talk about that in practice so we just stuck with it.

Scarlet: This was the team’s first situation in which you all had to stick with it and grind out a victory. There are six freshmen on the roster this year and team chemistry often takes a while to develop with so many new players. How did that win help chemistry going forward?

Shannon: It really established the tone of how we’re expected to play and it brings us together. We’re starting the season off strong and the new players played an important part. And wins always bring teams together.

Scarlet: Beyond being an outside hitter, what do you feel is your role on the court? Especially compared to last year?

Shannon: I have to talk a lot more and be more positive. As a sophomore, you’re no longer looking around to get a message. You have to take control of what’s happening and be more confident and consistent.

Scarlet: Have you gained confidence since last year?

Shannon: I think so because I’ve established my place and I know what I can do and what the team can do so that helps confidence as well.

Scarlet: It must also help your confidence to have such a poised leader in senior Rachel Spera assisting a majority of your kills. What is her impact out there on the court?

Shannon: Having her as a senior captain is very good. She is good at asking what we need out of her. We also have very good passing in general.

Scarlet: That always makes it easier to rack up kills for you. Have you always played outside hitter?

Shannon: I’ve played outside hitter since I started playing in sixth grade.

Scarlet: What encouraged you to play?

Shannon: I had played soccer up until then. I kind of got tired of that so I tried out volleyball and it worked.

Scarlet: I’m not sure of the popularity levels of certain sports in New Mexico. How popular is volleyball?

Shannon: I’d say it’s pretty prevalent there.

Scarlet: Especially being two states over from California which is a hub of sorts for beach volleyball.

Shannon: Yeah, except we don’t have any beaches.

Scarlet: Desert Volleyball?

(Laughs) Yeah, exactly. No, we mostly play indoors.

Scarlet: Okay, back to the East Coast. What are some key games that the team is circling on the calendar?

Shannon: We have two home games coming up against Springfield College and Coast Guard Academy. We’d really like to win those two because both of those teams are in our division.

Scarlet: Give Scarlet readers an amazing reason to show up to both of these games.

Because the games are really fun, we have a lot of energy, and there will be good competition…and we’re going to be awesome.