Nov. 7, 2005
During the 2005 Southern Miss Volleyball season, each Lady Eagle will match up with Athletics Media Relations Graduate Assistant Joe Trahan as he serves up questions about life and volleyball.
This week features Outside Hitter Amber Bloom and Setter Ednali Serralta. Bloom, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., finished her junior college career at College of Southern Idaho with 237 kills and 226 total blocks. Serralta, a junior from San Juan, Puerto Rico, also played at College of Southern Idaho, finishing her junior college career second all-time in assists with 1,669, as well as posting 109 service aces and 330 digs.
In the 2005 Southern Miss volleyball media guide, you state that the best compliment that you've ever received is being called "White Chocolate." What's the origin of the name?
"It's because I can jump high, and because I'm white."
What has the transition been like from junior college competition to Division I C-USA volleyball?
"A big difference for me was that with my old team, they were from foreign countries and here everyone is American. The competition itself is about the same though."
What has your experience at Southern Miss been like so far?
"The school is a lot bigger than I'm used to, but I like it."
What unique characteristic or trait do you bring to the team?
"I guess my white hair stands out!"
What is the best form of music to play for a volleyball match?
"Hip hop would be good with something like `Laffy Taffy.'"
At what age did you know that you were going to play collegiate volleyball?
"When I was a junior in high school. I didn't start thinking about it until then, though I started playing when I was 14."
What do you think about the amount of travel that the team has had to make this season?
"I've had two days of school this year with all of the traveling!"
Have you had any chance to watch any other Southern Miss sports yet?
"I've been to football games and the team is good and the games are fun."
What are your predictions for the final stretch of the season, heading into the Conference USA tournament?
"We have all of the skills to win, and we know we can win, but we haven't been winning lately. We have to do something to win because we have the talent, skills and we are amazing!"
It has been said that you are a fiery competitor when you step onto the court. Is this true?
"Yes, it is true! I like to scream in the opponent's faces when I make a point. And for doing that, I always get yelled at by the referee."
Does your style of play indicate your overall personality as a passionate player and as a person?
"Yes because I'm very passionate about volleyball, and I've played that way since I started playing in the seventh grade."
A lot of responsibility falls on your position as a setter. Do you feel any pressure at that position?
"I do feel a lot of pressure at the position because I have to run the game, make plays and make good passes so my teammates can hit the ball. Setter is the hardest position to play on the court."
How does it feel to play at a school rich in tradition with good setters?
"It's an honor to play at a school that has had good setters, but it is also a challenge because I want to be as good, if not better, than them."
You and Amber Bloom were teammates in junior college (College of Southern Idaho). How important was it for both of you to come to Southern Miss together?
"We didn't know that we were both coming to the same school at first; it just happened that way. It made the adjustment easier for both of us because we're like sisters."
Do you feel as the setter that you must know the tendencies and style of play of each of your teammates?
"Yes, because I have to know every type of set that every player hits because they all don't hit the same sets. It's a little hard because I have to remember everything, but you get used to it."
What position is the easiest to set?
"Outside hitters because you throw it outside, and they'll hit it quick. Setting up middle blockers is difficult because it's all about timing."
You don't get too many "kill" opportunities, but when you do, how much do you cherish it?
"I like getting opportunities for kills because I'm not a hitter. So anytime I get a chance to hit the ball I get real happy."
How much would you enjoy playing outside hitter for a game?
"I would love to, just to make fun of myself!"
What is the best scenario for a good set?
"If the ball comes straight to me, and I don't have to move, the ball will go over the net. For positions, it's best in transition with a middle blocker for a quick play. If it's a free ball, it's better with the outside hitter."
What element do you bring to this multi-cultural team?
"I feel that I'm kind of crazy and wild. I'm always dancing and smiling, and I like to make people happy."
What has your experience at Southern Miss been like thus far?
"From what I've seen so far, I like being at Southern Miss."