Alyssa Dwyer, middle blocker for the PLNU volleyball team, was selected as the athlete to watch out for this week. Dwyer, an Arizona native, has been playing volleyball for seven and a half years. She was a star player for Gilbert High School, where she earned four varsity letters, participated in a state championship, was designated team captain and was named for first-team all-region.
Her prowess did not stop there. After coming off a stellar freshman year in 2010 with 345 kills, 136 blocks, 32 digs, 20 assists and two aces, it’s no wonder that she has earned a spot on the list.
Her hard work has come back in full force this week as she powered out 35 kills with a .500 clip, 16 total blocks, five digs and three assists to help bring the team four more wins and move the No. 6-ranked Sea Lions to an 8-0 streak. The Point Weekly asked Dwyer questions about herself and the game she plays, and here is what said:
PW: What’s the key to being a great offensive or defensive weapon?
Dwyer: The key to being a great offensive or defensive weapon is confidence. Volleyball is primarily a mental sport. As a player, your mentality on the court is what defines your play. If you step onto the court believing that you can’t be beat, and you are willing to do anything to reach success, no one can stop you. Attitude is everything and each individual chooses what attitude they have.
PW: Do you have any pre-game traditions or superstitions?
Dwyer: I do not have any specific rituals, but before each game I spend a large period of time in the training room preparing my body for the upcoming match. This preparation is necessary when you are recovering from an injury. I try to listen to pump-up music for an extra boost of energy. I am not very superstitious.
PW: What is your most embarrassing moment during play?
Dwyer: I am the type of person who does not easily get embarrassed, but the worst is when you take a huge approach as if you are going to destroy the ball and then you swing and miss. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is definitely embarrassing.
PW: Name an athlete you would like to have dinner with and why.
Dwyer: I would love to meet Michael Jordan. He is a man of great success and recognition, but he also experienced many losses and failures, and I would love to hear how he always bounced back. Also, I would like to talk to him about playing a team sport and its rewards and difficulties.
PW: What is your proudest moment on the court?
Dwyer: Defining the proudest moment is difficult, because so often I am proud of my team’s accomplishments. I feel proudest when I see the team system being accomplished. When we execute what we are put in place to do, it is a great moment.
PW: Who is your favorite team to beat and why?
Dwyer: There is not one specific team that I enjoy beating more than another. However, it is more exciting to play a team with heart, one that is going to fight and be true competition. This year my hope is to beat the national champion, Fresno Pacific.
PW: Do you have any secret talents?
Dwyer: Secret talents are not really something I possess. My only cool talent is that I can sing Italian opera, but this is not a secret because many have heard it.
PW: What are your athletic goals this year?
Dwyer: My athletic goal this year is to be the best I can be and achieve an All-American ranking. The ultimate goal is to win a national championship this year!
PW: What do you want to do or be when you graduate?
Dwyer: After graduation, I hope to be playing still. I am striving to be the best and be able to be a part of the Olympic indoor team. Beyond this I have a passion for both fashion and athletics. I am still unsure what I will do with my fashion merchandising major, but I am confident that it will be something that I enjoy.
-by kalyn mcmackin & ashlie adams
sports editor & staff writer