Conversation: Sarah Holloway
In her second semester on The Forty Acres, freshman Sarah Holloway (Aurora, Colo.) has already made a significant contribution to the Texas volleyball program. The 6í0" defensive specialist has played an important role in helping to improve the Texas defense and service game. The Horns will look for Holloway to continue her consistent play as they look toward a final stretch run in conference and even further into the postseason. Recently TexasSports.com caught up with the freshman to discuss her Longhorn roots, returning home to Colorado and her affinity for sleeping.
It was obviously a difficult decision for you to decide to leave high school a half-year early to come to The University of Texas. Talk a little about that decision and how you ultimately made it.
Holloway: It was really hard for me to leave my friends and family, but most of my best friends had graduated the year before. So after my friends left I wanted to stay and play with my little sister (Rachel) during my last high school season. After I took care of my academics I decided to leave, although it was difficult to leave my club team. I thought it would be a great opportunity to come to Texas early and have the chance to go to Europe with the team and get a head start in the system and in education.
You grew up in a UT family and you are a third generation Longhorn. Have you always wanted to come to Texas? How big of a role did your family play in you choosing a school?
SH: Growing up, Texas has always been right at the top of my list of colleges. My family having ties to the university played a big part in my coming here because I already knew a lot about Austin before I was even considering college. I would hear my mom, my dad, and my brother (Tillman) talk about Austin so it was actually an easy decision to come here because it was already somewhat of a semi-home.
When your brother (All-American offensive guard Tillman Holloway) was going to school here and playing football (2000-03) for the Horns, were you able to come to Austin on a regular basis?
SH: It was hard to make it down to Austin a lot because of conflicts with volleyball. My dad came to every home game, and the weekends that I had off I was able to come to Austin and see my brother play. Although, I didnít make it to many games I was able to go to all of the bowl games, and that was a lot of fun.
If you and your brother were to get into an athletic competition who would win?
SH: Well there are some stories about that! When I first came to Texas for a volleyball camp, my sister and I played Tillman and some of his football teammates. We really worked them. Another time, Tillman and my other brother Matthew claim that they beat my sister Rachel and I. They say that one time in backyard volleyball they beat us, but they were totally cheating and getting into the net. That backyard game was right after my team had won two high school state championships, so Tillman and Matthew claimed that since they beat us that they were the real state champions. Yeah right!
It has been a great year so far for the team. Has the success of the team anything like what you expected for your first year at Texas? What has been most special to you this year?
SH: The success of the team has definitely exceeded my expectations. I knew that we had the talent to be this successful, but I didnít know how we were going to put it all together. Getting to know the girls on the team and getting closer with them has been really great. We have been able to develop an attitude of needing to prove ourselves because nobody expected us to do as well as we have.
This week you and the team will travel to Colorado to play a talented Colorado team that played tough in the first meeting this year, forcing a five-game match. Talk a little about how big of a match this is for the team, and talk about how excited you are to be going home to Colorado to play.
SH: I am so excited to go back home because it is home and I have not been there in nine months. It is a big game for us, but we will treat it like any other game. We obviously need to win to help us in receiving a high seed in the NCAA tournament. This game will be special because I will be back home playing against my two best friends who play for Colorado (Ashley and Amber Nuíu). I have been playing volleyball with them since I was fourteen years old, so we know each other very well. Playing against them is very awkward, but it is also a lot of fun at the same time. On the court we will be competing, but once we step off the court it is just like old times.
Your roommate Jen Christian and you have done a great job so far this season in the "roommate rotation," where you play back row and she plays front row. The two of you have worked well together on the court, but how do your opposite personalities work together as roommates. Christian is a very loud, vibrant, free spirit, and you are more laid back and quiet. Talk about the relationship that you and Jen share on and off the court, and the differences that the two of you have as roommates?.
SH: I think that Jen and I complement each other well and make up for each otherís weaknesses on and off the court. Jen is very loud and sometimes makes it hard to study in our room, but I can be quiet and sit in the room all the time and that probably annoys her. We also have some issues with the thermostat in our room because Jen likes it to be really hot and muggy, and I like it to be cold like normal people would have it. However, I think our differences are good and we have fun, and our differences are not anything that we bicker over.
Last summer you had the opportunity to begin your career early by traveling with the team to Europe. Talk a little bit about that trip and what was most memorable.
SH: The trip was one of the reasons I came to school early and it was a great opportunity for me to be able to get to know my teammates. We were all in close quarters and that really allowed us to spend a lot of time together as a group. I will always remember the first hotel that we stayed at because we only had two rooms for the whole team and there were six of us in each room. That was a lot of fun because we would stay up laughing, talking and getting to know each other.
I have heard that you said the best part of the trip was the large stash of chap stick that you collected while in Europe. Is that true?
SH: (Head Coach) Jerrittís (Elliott) wife, Sarah, got us hooked on this chap stick called Labello, and everywhere we went in Europe Jenny (Andrew), (former player) Erin Larson, a couple other girls, and I were trying to collect them because we thought that they would be cute gifts that you canít get in the United States that are pretty inexpensive and easy to carry on the trip. Now my family loves it.
Fact Attack: Sarah Holloway
Favorite Place in Austin? Serranos Mexican Restaurant on Red River
Volleyball: In the sand / On the court: On the court, but in the sand is fun when I am playing with my little sister.
If youíre not on the court youíreÖ sleeping
Which reality show would you be on? The Mole because you never know who is The Mole.
You would rather beÖ going to a movie or sleeping
Dinner for four. Who is there, dead or alive? Jesus, my future husband, and my Mom
What did you eat for dinner last night? A very plain Chipotle burrito with rice and guacamole.
What is in your CD player right now? A mix CD with a little Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts and the Casting Crowns.
Neat / Messy: Well Jen (Christian) would say that I am messy. I am not a slob, but I donít keep everything immaculate either.
When you think of the University of Texas, you think? Tradition