Volleyball Profile - Laura Collins

Nov. 14, 2003

Laura Collins' time on the Oregon State volleyball team is winding down, but she'll long be remembered for her many accomplishments during her time in Corvallis.

The senior setter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was named to the All-Pacific-10 Team as an honorable mention selection in both 2001 and 2002. She's been named Pac-10 Player of the Week twice during her career, and she's one of three OSU setters to record at least 3,500 assists.

As a sophomore in 2001, she was the starting setter on an OSU team that finished 17-12 as the Beavers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years and just the second time in program history. Last week, she helped lead OSU to a win at Washington State, giving the Beavers their first win in Pullman since 1990.

She's been successful in the classroom as well. Last year, the business major was a first team selection on the Pac-10's All-Academic Team after earning honorable mention in 2001. She was a third team Academic All-District honoree last year as well.

Following is a question and answer session with the all-star setter as she reflects on her time at Oregon State and talks about a possible postseason berth and a potential pro career in Europe down the road.

Q- Looking back on your four years here, is it hard to believe it's almost over?

A- For sure. I can hardly believe that it's over. It's gone by so fast. Coming in as a freshman, you're like, 'Wow, four whole years', but it really goes a lot faster than you think.

Q- You've got six matches left to try to win at least three and possibly make it back to postseason play. How great would that be to cap off your career like that? (Note: This interview was prior to OSU's win over ASU on Thursday; the Beavers now need to win two of five to finish with a winning record).

A- It would be amazing. One of my goals coming into this year was to try to go back to the NCAA Tournament. It would just be an awesome way to finish off my career. Hopefully it happens.

Q- You've accomplished quite a bit in your four years here. You've been a two-time honorable mention All-Pac-10 team pick and a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Week. You were a part of one of only two Beaver teams to go to the NCAA Tournament, and you're one of only three Beaver with 3,500 career assists. The list goes on. Does one honor stand out above the rest or is there something else you wish you would have been able to accomplish?

A- They're all really great, but I would say the first time that I was Pac-10 Player of the Week was a huge shock to me. I was only a sophomore, and it was a huge honor. It really proved to me that I was good enough to play in this conference. Honestly, almost everything that I've been recognized for has been just great. I don't think there's really anything else that I could have asked for.

Q- You've got Arizona in the final home match of your career. That's one of the three Pac-10 teams you haven't beaten during your four years here. Would a win over them be a great way to celebrate Senior Night?

A- Definitely. They're a great team, but I think we definitely have a great shot at beating them. I don't think we played extremely well the first time around, and now we're going to have home-court advantage and a great crowd behind us. It would be awesome to beat them.

Q- When you look back 10 years from now, what will you remember most about your time at Oregon State?

A- There really isn't one moment that stands out, but the feeling you get playing in front of a crowd and having people cheer for you and hearing your name broadcast to everyone is just a really exciting thing. I'm always going to be able to look back and say that I went to the NCAA Tournament and competed in that, but it's probably the general, broad experience that I'll remember most.

Q- Your major is business, but you've also done some work in the athletic department. Is athletics an area that you'd like to stay in?

A- I definitely want to be around sports. My option for business is marketing, so I'm kind of interested in the sports marketing aspect of it. I also have an athletic administration minor, so I've been doing an internship with Marianne (Vydra, OSU's Senior Woman Administrator). That side of it, too, is really interesting. I'm hoping to be around the sports world in some sort of business field.

Q- What comes next? Are you done with school this year?

A- School's not done yet, but I'm looking to hopefully finish by next fall. But actually, in January for 10 days, I'm going to Europe on an exposure tour for volleyball to see if I can possibly play professionally over there. I'm going to give that a shot and see how it goes and see if it's something I might want to do. I'm excited.

Q- How is that trip set up? Will you be in the same place the whole time?

A- It's 10 days, and we start in Germany. We go to Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and possibly Venice. I haven't been to Europe before, so I'm pretty excited, especially to see so many different places in that amount of time. It'll pretty much be sightseeing all day, and then at night there's either a match or practice. It's pretty much made up of players who have graduated. There's a girl from Oregon that used to play who's going and my boyfriend's sister is coming. We're all on the same team and then we go and play some teams over there. I'm not sure exactly what kind of teams we're playing, if it's their pro teams or some clubs teams. They get to see how we play, and then this agency that it's through gets to see how talented you are, so when you're ready to go over there, they can place you depending on what team you have the right qualities for.

Q- If they do decide they want you to play over there, would you go right away or would you wait until you finish school?

A- That's why I'm trying to get done with school as fast as I can. I don't want to wait a whole year, but I guess they place players in August and January. I don't want to wait a whole year if it's something I actually want to do, which I haven't decided. That's why I'm going on this trip. I've heard volleyball in Europe is a lot different.

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