Captain Q & A with Volleyball's Perez and Faleti

Sept. 27, 2007

Maureen Perez 'Moe' and Adetokunbo Faleti 'T' lead the Cougar volleyball squad this season. The duo speak up on what it's like to be on the court and off the court.

How has the role of captain made this season different?
Moe: I feel like I've always been a leader, but you never really think about all the little stuff. Being a captain is different, I've had to take care of the little things and it definitely makes me appreciate all the prior captains we have had.
T: It's not really much different. Moe and I have always been leaders; it just added a title to what we do already.

What is your favorite part about playing volleyball?
Moe: Probably just competing. I'm a competitor; I love going out there and playing hard. For me, it's a lot of fun to play volleyball.
T: The teamwork. I played a lot of individual sports (ran track and triple jumped) so team sports are so amazing because you need everybody to be successful. I love it. We all have to contribute something in order for us to be good.

What are your post-graduate plans?
Moe: I'm hoping to go to grad school. I'm an English major and want to get my master's in education. I think I'd really like to teach and maybe coach if I miss volleyball a lot.
T: I want to go to grad school for sure. In our family, you need to get something past your college degree. I'll probably go back home to Texas for grad school in counseling.

What has been the most memorable moment playing Cougar volleyball?
Moe: Anytime we play in Bohler Gym - there is nothing else like it. No other place matches up and it's great to hear other people from around the Pac-10 and other schools say how hard it is to play here.
T: The Washington game we played there last year. It was crazy, it was packed - a row of Coug fans in all the purple. We didn't win but we played really well together and played awesome. When we first got in there it was loud and crazy. By the second game, it was quiet. They were scared we were going to beat them. It was cool for us to shut the crowd up. It wasn't a game we won but it was the most memorable.

If you could pick one clothing store to shop at, which would you choose and why?
Moe: Definitely Urban Outfitters. It has this retro flair; I love it. There is so much stuff and it's so unique.
T: There is a cute little fashion store back home called Agaci. It isn't an expensive place, but you can buy really cute stuff. I always go there when I go home.

What is the most difficult aspect of the game for you as a setter?
Moe: As a setter, you have to know the best choices to make: who to set and when to set. All that depends on what the other side is doing. Not only are you worried about what is happening on your side, you also have to worry about what is happening on the other side.

What is the most difficult aspect of the game for you as a hitter?
T: A lot of it is mental. You have to have skill as well but a lot of it is mental. For outside hitters, there are usually two blockers. In order to succeed, you have to have a plan about what you're going to do before you get the set and then you have to execute that plan. Go through them, around them, over them - you can't just go up and swing because you'll get blocked.

How did you end up at WSU?
Moe: I came here my sophomore year of high school to see what it was like. I had heard awesome things but it was a different coaching staff and it just didn't look like I was going to be able to come here. I ended up going to Central Florida my freshman year, but it wasn't a good fit for who I was. The coaches here got in touch with me and told me I could walk on. I would rather walk on here than go anywhere else for a scholarship. I worked hard and earned my scholarship. It's been an interesting journey but I made it.
T: I went to junior college first and then I got recruited here. I loved it. When I came here, some of the volleyball players and I went to a grocery store and people just knew who they were. In a small town, people come to games and they get to know you. If I was in a big city, people wouldn't know who I was. I loved the way it felt like home away from home.

What kind of car do you drive?
Moe: I drive a 1992 Saturn and it just has to make it through May. It's been through quite a bit - it's got character.
T: I don't have a car right now. Usually, I drove Moe's car.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Moe: I call my dad and he prays with me. I also listen to one song - 'Crazy Train' by Ozzy Osbourne. That's pretty much it; they are kind of polar opposites, but it works for me.
T: I listen to a couple songs: 'Take My Life' or 'Brighter Day.' That's the one thing I do before every single game.

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