Conversation: Jenny Andrew
Sophomore setter, Jenny Andrew (Kingwood, Texas) has been an asset to the Texas team ever since she stepped on to the Forty Acres in the fall of 2003. The 6'2" Andrew's talent, outgoing personality and pride in her state and school make her presence on the Texas squad invaluable. The depth that Andrew provides the Horns at the setter position has given Texas the option to be more creative with their offense in 2004. TexasSports.com recently sat down with the setter to talk about family, roommates and the three dinners she ate last night.
This year is your second season on campus at Texas and you have been a part of somewhat of a UT volleyball revival. What has this year's team done this year to become such a dominant force in the national volleyball scene?
Jenny Andrew: I think that we all came here for the same reason. We all wanted to play for our coaching staff here, knowing that it would be a rebuilding effort. Our team chemistry this year has really helped us on and off the court to become a more accountable group, as well as wanting to achieve a certain "something" in everything that we do.
You came to Texas in the fall of 2003. What were the reasons for you choosing The University of Texas?
JA: I am from Kingwood (Houston area) and my family and friends are there. Being three hours away is awesome because I can go home on the weekend and a big thing for me is to have my family at the games. I really think that if UT was in another state that I would have gone there as well because I came here for the coaching staff and I came here to win a national championship. I love the city of Austin, the food and the people. I just love Austin.
How proud are you to play for the Longhorns and have the chance to stay in Texas to play your college volleyball?
JA: There is nothing better than playing for your home state, as a couple of us have had the opportunity to do (Bethany Howden - Austin, Michelle Moriarty - Houston, Lauren Galler - Austin). There is so much pride involved in the tradition here and there is just nothing better than playing at home.
Obviously you have had the opportunity to forge some great relationships with your teammates during the past two seasons. Talk a little about those relationships that you share with your teammates on and off the court, and how those relationships contribute to team unity.
JA: I think that if you have trust in each other off of the court it definitely correlates with being able to trust each other on the court, and vice versa. Whenever we are going to the grocery store, to a movie, or out to dinner, there is always someone there with me from the team. It's really cool that you can have best friends within your sport and you don't get sick of each other. We just love being around each other on and off the court. I think those relationships are great and I don't think many teams have that. Those relationships are very apparent on the court. When there are two teammates going for the same ball you know that the trust that they share and confidence in one another will allow them to communicate and make the play.
You have another group of friends off the court in the eclectic group of roommates with whom you live. Talk a little about your home life that you have in a house full of UT athletes.
JA: I live in a big six-bedroom house on north campus and I live with Chez (Sievers) and Megan (Willis) from softball, Ashley (Prust) from golf, Megan (Omura) used to be a rower, and Kendra (Strohm) is a tennis player. When we first moved into the house me named it The Mansion. It is really cool because all of us can come home from whatever practice or our teams' events and we can have a great getaway from our teams and not have to worry about volleyball or whichever sport. It is great to be surrounded by people from all sports and we don't ever get sick of each other. We all are on so many busy schedules, but we catch each other with each other at really random times. For instance, when some people are getting back from 6 a.m. workouts, and I am just getting up because my classes start later than anyone in the house. We actually have a couple classes together and we get in the kitchen and make omelets and chai tea together. We also have ping-pong tournaments. I always lose and Kendra always wins. But our house is great because it's really fun to be able to talk about all of our days even though none of them really relate to each other.
Earlier this season after the team's trip to Texas A&M, your Dad cooked gumbo for the whole team, and in your comments about your dream car on TexasSports.com you mentioned wanting to fix up an old Ford Mustang with your Dad. It sounds as if you and your Dad have a very close relationship. Talk about that relationship and what that relationship has meant to your volleyball career.
JA: My dad an I are really close and I know that I could call him any hour of the day or night and tell him what I am thinking and he could do the same with me. The gumbo he cooked for the team was great and I even got to bring some home and cook for my roommates -- well, actually just reheat it. The meal was a way for us to sit down after the match and get our minds off of A&M and we decided as a team not to talk about the loss, and move on to Nebraska, which was our next match. Food - especially Cajun food - is really big in my family, and it was fun that it was more than half of the team's first time to try Cajun food. I really like spending time with my Dad and that is another reason I came to Texas, so I could be really close with my family. They leave home Wednesday afternoons to come to Austin and go to the games on Wednesday nights and then get back home at 2 o'clock in the morning. My Dad and my family would do anything for me and I would do anything for them.
Once you are done with your career here at Texas, what do you plan to do with your degree and where do you see yourself five to ten years from now?
JA: I just switched my major over to sport management and it deals with the business aspect of sport. I definitely see myself still in the sport, but I don't know if it will be in coaching or if I might be helping manage a team. I also see myself still playing volleyball ? I hope. I definitely want to have a family and probably will still be here in Austin because I love it here so much.
Describe (including details) your perfect day in Austin, Texas.
JA: It would definitely involve sleeping in and getting up and walking across the street with some of my friends to eat at Red River Café. My favorite day in Austin would involve in awful lot of eating. We would then take a boat out on Lake Austin and enjoy the sites and go wakeboarding. Bethany (Howden) and I learned how to wakeboard this summer and it was quite an experience, but it was really fun. After the lake we would go to Hula Hut and eat queso, of course. The rest of the day would involve hanging out and just being outside. We are all really outdoorsy people. I think it would just be a day spending a lot of time relaxing, sleeping and eating.
Fact Attack: Jenny Andrew
Favorite Place in Austin? Lake Austin near the Mt. Bonnell area
Volleyball: In the sand / On the court: Definitely on the court. It is fun to experiment in the sand, but definitely on the court. The sand is a lot of fun, but it is a completely different game.
If you're not on the court you're: Sleeping
Which reality show would you be on? I hate reality shows and I would never be on one.
You would rather be: Hanging out with friends.
Dinner for four. Who is there, dead or alive? My sister, my granddad and my Pop
What did you eat for dinner last night? Well I had three dinners last night. The first one was right before my "kiddie lit" (Children's Literature) class that I have with a couple girls on the team. I had Nachos Bell Grande and a tostada from Taco Bell. Then I came home and made macaroni and cheese and a chicken breast salad. And then later after I got done studying, I made an omelet and an English muffin. I always make a cheese, egg and bacon omelet, but I would say Megan Willis is the fanciest omelet maker in the house. She uses every kind of vegetable, every kind of onion and just everything. She is the omelet chef in the house.
What is in your CD player right now? It is a mix of all my very favorite country songs: some Tim McGraw, but also some Tracy Chapman, 112 and John Mayer. A little bit of everything.
Neat / Messy: Very neat. I am definitely the clean freak in our house.
When you think of The University of Texas, you think? Pride and another white banner (national championship banner hanging in Gregory Gym).