Q&A With UAB Volleyball's Becca Howard

Senior Becca Howard ranks ninth in UAB history with 2,327 assists in her career.

Oct. 24, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB volleyball team is mid-way through Conference USA play where it is 4-4 so far in 2013. Senior setter Becca Howard has emerged as one of the leaders on the team after taking over the starting setter role this season. Howard, a two-time C-USA Setter of the Week selection in 2013, sat down with UABsports.com to discuss the season and much more. 

You have come into a huge role as primary setter, what was your mindset coming into the season?
“I did finally get to come into my own role, so I kind of looked at my first three years, my freshman through junior year, as preparation for this. It really got me ready for this. I kind of got to study what Allison Woods, who was our setter above me, was doing.  I really got to learn from her. It’s definitely helped me come into my own role this year. “ 

What are your individual and team goals for the season?
“The team goal is 100 percent to make it to the NCAA tournament, so to do that we are going to have to win our conference tournament in November. Individually, I just want to sacrifice myself and do anything for our team to win. I’ll do anything to make sure that we get there.” 

What are the biggest strengths of the team and of you as an individual?
“Our strength is unity as a team. We have played with these girls for a few years now. There are some newcomers, but we have really found a way to gel together. For me, I consider myself to be more of a silent leader. I am not the most outgoing one, but I am kind of a steady force on the team. I keep everyone in control, but still make sure that we have a good time.” 

What is the biggest difference between this season and the 2012 season
“Our mindset. If you ask anyone on the team, they will tell you that our goal is to make it to the NCAA Tournament. We are all on the same page and we know what we want, so we are going to do anything we can to get there.”



What is your best UAB volleyball memory?
“We have a ton because we have so much fun with our coaches too. There are some programs where it seems like the team and the coaches are separated. On our team, our staff is completely with us. One good memory is from when we went paintballing this preseason. It got pretty intense. Kerry Messersmith (head coach) got really into it. To make it even more fun we had themes, so three of the other girls and I dressed up as Kiss. We had white face-paint all over, and it was a great time.”

What has been the most challenging part of college volleyball?
“I have definitely had to learn time management from the time I came in as a freshman. It is overwhelming coming in to playing division one athletics, but I have gotten good at managing that. I have really found a way to manage all my classes and I love my major, so I have been comfortable with all the classes I am in. Another challenging thing was this past summer when we experienced our coach passing. That has been a huge obstacle for us, but for us to come together and honor him means a lot to us. That’s really what this season is all about.”

What are your plans for after you finish at UAB?
“I am still on the fence about whether I want to start my MBA. It’s either I do that, or hopefully I will get a job in medical sales. If I went to get my MBA, I would stay at UAB and probably play my fifth year in sand volleyball.”

What is something the average UAB fan wouldn’t know about you?
“A lot of other girls on our team used to play basketball, but I used to swim. I was actually a really good swimmer, but when I got to around eighth grade I had to pick between volleyball and swimming. Obviously I picked volleyball, but I think about if I had picked swimming that my life would be so different. I am still glad I picked volleyball though.”

If you could talk to anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
“I would probably have to say Abraham Lincoln. I just feel like he could really give some wisdom.”

Who is your role model or somebody you look up to?
“Both of my parents. I would not be where I am, or event the person I am without them. The times in high school when I wanted to quit or was having a hard time, they wouldn’t let me. They always kept pushing me. I wouldn’t have been able to play club volleyball without them supporting me. I owe so much to them to get here.”

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