Aug. 23, 2011
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AuburnTigers.com presents the first installment in a season-long series profiling the 14 members of the 2011 Tiger volleyball team. Today we feature senior setter Christina Solverson.
By Michael Stagno, Auburn media relations
Auburn volleyball and first-year Head Coach Rick Nold are determined to make some noise, not only in the SEC, but nationally as well. Having lost five seniors, the Tigers return four starters and 12 letterwinners from 2010.
With seemingly a young team, the responsibility to provide leadership is on its two seniors, Kelly Fidero and Christina Solverson.
Solverson likes what Coach Nold, formerly the head coach of Jacksonville State for nine years and a three-time conference coach of the year, brings to the table.
"He brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm and intensity," Solverson said. "We really like it and we're following his lead. We're looking really good."
Last season, Auburn volleyball finished with an overall record of 21-13 on its way to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 25 years.
"That was the best feeling, I think, that all of us have ever had," Solverson said. "It was awesome to share it together and we want to get back there again really bad."
Solverson was the team's primary setter last season and led the team with 740 assists, while having totaled double-digit assists in 32 matches and setting a career-high in assists with 38 against Alabama and a season-high in digs with 13 against Georgia.
This season, the Tigers have been selected to finish fourth in the SEC West Division behind LSU, Ole Miss and Arkansas by the preseason coaches' poll.
"When we heard that it definitely motivated everyone on this team to work harder," Solverson said. "We have a lot to prove, but we're working really hard, we're a tight team and we're going to get it done."
Solverson is from Tucson, Ariz., about 1,654 miles from Auburn, a 26-hour drive. In Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, the heat index reaches temperatures over 100 degrees so the slightly lower temperatures of an average high of 94 degrees here in Auburn is slightly more welcome. The weather, however, is not enough of a reason to stay away from home as she looks forward to getting back as often as she can.
"I love when my mom cooks for me, that is my favorite thing," Solverson said. "I love seeing my family and friends as well."
A polymer and fibers engineering major, she is consistently a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She chose the major because it is versatile and can be applied to many different professions. As she puts it, "it can be applied to airplanes, cars, bullet-proof vests, snowboards and skateboards." She values the opportunity, of not only being able to play collegiate athletics, but also in receiving a free education.
"It's important because it's our responsibility to our team to do well in the classroom," Solverson said. "We represent more than ourselves. We represent teammates, coaches, family and all the athletic staff."
Solverson derives her inspiration from former college basketball coach John Wooden. Wooden is known for his impressive and consistent morals, ethics and values. She tries to approach everyday like he would and hopes that will show in both the classroom and on the court.
"I just want to be successful," Solverson said. "I feel that success is found in doing my absolute best every day."