Defensive specialist Vrdsky talks volleyball, college life

Beth Vrdsky serves the ball during the fourth game of a match against Iowa, Sept. 30 in Huff Hall. The Illini won the match three games to one. Beck Diefenbach

Beth Vrdsky serves the ball during the fourth game of a match against Iowa, Sept. 30 in Huff Hall. The Illini won the match three games to one. Beck Diefenbach

By Lucas Deal

Beth Vrdsky is a senior defensive specialist on the Illinois volleyball team. Vrdsky began her career as a walk-on three years ago and has since earned an athletic scholarship. This season, Vrdsky has played in all of Illinois’ matches and is third on the team with 133 total digs. For her career, she is sixth on Illinois’ all-time digs list with 1066.

Question: What is your major and how did you choose it?

Answer: I’m a sociology major and I chose that because I took a sociology Gen Ed freshman year and I loved it. But I’m in the Air Force ROTC, so that’s going to be my job.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Illinois? Was it because of the ROTC?

A: No, I chose Illinois for volleyball. When I was looking at schools, I wanted to play volleyball for sure, and I got offered scholarships at a few other places, but I like Illinois the best. I always wanted to go Illinois and I had always liked the program. ROTC kind of fell in later, after I got here.

Q: If you weren’t playing volleyball, would you play another sport?

A: I would probably play soccer. I played soccer from kindergarten until high school – when I stopped to play volleyball; but I loved soccer.

Q: Who is your favorite Illinois athlete and favorite pro athlete?

A: Does the Illinois athlete have to be current, or can it just be anybody? Because if it can be anybody then it would have to be Dee because he’s short and goes really fast, and I’m short and I play fast. For favorite pro athlete, I’m going to say Andy Roddick.

Q: What is the best part about Big Ten volleyball?

A: I think the competition and level of play is really great. All of the matches are competitive and anything can happen.

Q: What is your favorite Coach Hardin phrase or expression?

A: Hmm, I don’t really know. He does a lot of really odd things, but I’m going to have to say, well, he forgets people’s names sometimes. Yeah, sometimes we’ll be in practice and he’ll look at one of us to tell us something and just kind of stare blankly for a second, then one of us will have to insert the name of the person he’s looking at. He does other things too, but I like that.

Q: You said earlier you always wanted to be an Illini, so what’s your favorite Illini color: Blue, or Orange?

A: I like blue. Orange is bright and vibrant and it sticks out so much.