The 2017 Auburn volleyball team boasts a large group of new faces in four freshmen and two transfers and AuburnTigers.com is spending time to get to know these newcomers.
Payton White is a 5-7 freshman from Zionsville, Ind., and comes to The Plains with volleyball in her blood. The defensive specialist is one of three collegiate volleyball players in her family and the two-time AAU All-American is ready to make her own mark in the sport while donning the Orange and Blue for Auburn.
Q: You come from a very athletic family and have two sisters who played/play volleyball collegiately. What kind of advice have they given you to help you prepare for collegiate volleyball?
A: They have helped me prepare for collegiate volleyball by helping me understand the mental aspect of the game and to always stay focused on and off the court.
Q: What was it about volleyball that attracted you to the sport?
A: I was attracted to the sport by seeing the success my eldest sister had accomplished and I wanted to do the same.
Q: A defensive specialist isn’t always the most glamorous or the most decorated position to play in this sport. What makes this position so important and what do you like most about playing in the back row?
A: Being a defensive specialist may not be the most glamorous position to play, but the first touch has become the most important because as volleyball has progressed, everyone has big hitter and setters. The back row can make or break the team. I like playing in the back row because it is a tenacious and gritty position.
Q: What are your personal goals for your freshman season?
A: My goals for my freshman season are to help Auburn make the NCAA tournament and move up in our conference by my play and leadership.
Q: And the general question for all newcomers…why Auburn?
A: When I stepped on campus, I knew this was where I wanted to go. From the coaching staff to the school, I knew I was home.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most playing at the collegiate level?
A: I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to compete at one of the highest levels of our sport on a day in and day out basis.
Q: You have a couple practices under your belt. What is one thing you’ve taken away from the first couple days?
A: One thing I have taken out of the first couple of days is that the little details are important because the game is faster and the athletes are bigger and stronger at this level.
Q: What is one class you’re looking forward to this fall semester?
A: The class I’m looking forward to the most is my Business 1010 class. I am looking forward to this class the most because it gives me the opportunity to get my feet wet in my major.
Q: Away from volleyball, what other hobbies do you have?
A: When I’m not playing volleyball, I like to hang out with my friends, binge watch movies/TV, and eat sushi.
Q: Even though your collegiate career is just beginning, where do you see yourself after you graduate?
A: After I graduate from Auburn, I see myself just moving into the next stage of my life and starting my career.