Q & A with Nicole Colaluca
April 7, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Libero Nicole Colaluca tallied a new single-season record, 628 digs in 2005, while her 5.41 digs per game was also a new record. A senior member of the 2006 Spartan squad, Colaluca comments on her leadership role, offseason training and the year ahead.
In just your first year as a Spartan in 2005, you set the single-season record for digs per game with 5.41 and a total of 628 for the year. How do you stay focused during practice sessions and in game situations knowing that you are on of the best defensive specialists to ever play at MSU? "I am my own motivator and this year I plan on beating both of those marks. I have high goals for this season; I want to be first in the Big Ten in digs per game, and also rank in the top ten in the NCAA at the end of the year."
Last year was definitely a rebuilding year for the Spartan program, even though this is just your second season at MSU, you will be looked to for leadership both on and off the court as a senior member of the team. How do you feel about that? "We have a great group of girls - both returning and coming in this fall. I am very excited to take on more of a leadership role. Everyone has worked very hard throughout the spring, and we have to make sure that momentum carries into the summer. It isn't a hard job to lead this group, everyone leads themselves."
What is your favorite part about being a Spartan? "Being with my teammates. The atmosphere and support is just amazing, better than any team I've ever been a part off."
You previously played at St. Johns University, what does it mean for you to play closer to home at MSU? "The Big Ten is such a great conference with so many competitive teams, which is the main reason why I came to MSU. The opportunity to play for Cathy (George) was also a big factor in my decision. It is great playing just three hours away from home; my family has been very supportive throughout my career."
What has been your favorite facility to play in? Why? "When I played at St. Johns my favorite place to play was at Connecticut. We played in the basketball arena and the atmosphere was amazing. As a Spartan, my favorite place to play is Jenison Field House! Being a competitor, I love to play at Purdue. I know a good portion of the girls on the team and always look forward to the match."
What has been your most memorable moment throughout your career? "When I was 18, my team won the National Championship at the Junior Division. It was an a great experience as an athlete. I am hoping next year at this time I can say my most memorable moment was competing in the NCAA Tournament as a Spartan!"
Which Big Ten school do you think the opposing fans have the most impact? "Purdue fans are very intense, but I would say that the fans at Michigan are even harder on the opposing team. Our fans at MSU are really supportive, and that is a big factor in the atmosphere in Jenison Field House. "
You are a communications major, what do you plan on doing after school? "I really hope to work in the mass media with either ESPN, Adidas or any sports company. If I don't chose the mass media market, I'd really like to get involved with the public relations side of a sports organization."
What have you focused on most this off season? "Getting into game shape, both on the court and in the weight room. Trying to improve my quickness and timing, I've taken a lot of digs this offseason! I really want to play as well as I can during my senior year."
The team lost four seniors after last season, how will you fill the void in 2006? "We have a strong group of newcomers for next season. We are welcoming them with open arms, and really encouraging them to step up and be prepared to make a big impact on the court. It will be very important for everyone to train as hard as possible during the summer months, so we can reach our goals this fall."
What is the best part about being a student-athlete at MSU?
"Michigan State is like one big family. My best friends are my teammates, I get to see them everyday! All of the teams are very supportive of each other, which makes MSU a special place to be an athlete."
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