Q&A with Volleyball Vets

LIbero/Outside Hitter, Makayla Sorensen.

After starting the new decade with back-to-back regular season titles and one conference championship, Weber State University has had one of the most dominant volleyball teams in the Big Sky conference. Playing three games in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship last season, the squad recently played an exhibition match against Air Force Academy, beating the Falcons 4‒1.

With a new season ahead, it’s time to get to know some of the Wildcats’ stars, specifically Macy Sumrall, Dani Richins (formerly Dani Nay), Emma Mangum and Makayla Sorensen:


What’s the hardest workout to do after coming off break for the first week of pre-season training?

Sumrall: “The hardest workout we had when we came back from summer were definitely the practice conditioning tests. They weren’t necessarily hard but so tiring!”

Richins: “The first week of practice is always killer! We have two a days and play a ton of volleyball! Our hardest lifts are usually in the summer before we report.”

Mangum: “The hardest part is the length of training we do. Instead of just a few hours in the morning, it’s an all-day thing, so it takes a little bit more of a toll on the body.”

Sorensen: “[A drill called] Hard pepper.”


Which time of day would you rather do your workout: late night or early morning?

Sumrall: “I prefer to have early morning workouts, so I can start my day right and also go ahead and get it out of the way.”

Richins: “Early morning! We lift at 6 a.m. three times a week! I like getting it done early, getting up and being productive in the mornings.”

Mangum: “I prefer early morning workouts so I can get the workout done and get going with the rest of my day.”

Sorensen: “Early morning.”


What’s your favorite pre-game meal?

Sumrall: “My favorite meal before games (and all the time), is the Chicken Wrap with Avocado Lime Ranch from Chick-Fil-A! Chick-Fil-A is a no-brainer.”

Richins: “My favorite meal before home games is breakfast: eggs, toast and fruit! When we are on the road, I like when we get Zupas or Panera.”

Mangum: “Favorite meal before games is Costa Vida.”

Sorensen: “Zupas Mango Berry Salad”


What do you listen to before games and during workouts?

Sumrall: “For my pre-game song, I listen to ‘Don’t Want It’ by Lil Nas on repeat, but for workouts, I mainly listen to Youngboy, Don Toliver and Drake.”

Richins: “We usually just have rap music playing, except for country Fridays.”

Mangum: “What I listen to pre-game is music I’m not allowed to list here.”

Sorensen: “Denzel Curry.”


Do you have any pre-game traditions?

Sumrall: “I personally only have three pre-game traditions: drink a celsius, write the word ‘Relentless’ on my shoe and listen to music. As a team, the main pre-game tradition we do is pray together, and then, when we run out, we hit the sign at the top of the locker room door.”

Richins: “No crazy pre-game tradition. We usually just listen to music while we get ready and do some rolling/mobility stuff before we go out to the court.”

Mangum: “My pre-game tradition is a [a drink from the soda shop] Swig before every home match.”

Sorensen: “Not really.”


What matchup are you most looking forward to?

Sumrall: “The matchup I’m looking forward to most is the University of Northern Colorado. Most of the time, it is a close game, so it is really exciting when we get to play them during conference!”

Richins: “It’s always fun to play Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona University!

Mangum: “I’m looking forward to competing with Northern Colorado this year.”

Sorensen: “The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Portland”


The Wildcats officially opened their season against the University of California, Riverside, for the Weber State Tournament on Aug. 26 at the Swenson Gym.