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World University Games Press Conference


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

April 9, 2013

K-State, World University Games Press Conference
Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement…
“This is a very exciting day for K-State, and one that reflects our commitment to Kansas State University to the whole experience for our student-athletes, and our goal of a world-class student-athlete experience. About a month ago, Coach (Suzie) Fritz called me one day and told me that we had been contacted with this opportunity to represent the United States of America in the World University Games. She was very excited, and wanted to ask if we could possibly consider finding a way to do it. She probably knows that I am kind of a sucker for international studies, and international learning. I believe that it is an opportunity that a lot of student-athletes do not get because they are in competition year round. So when opportunities for our student athletes to study abroad and experience other cultures, I think it is one that we have to jump on. We are very fortunate that we have great resources from our contributors and season ticket holders. We had one of the top 25 volleyball attendance in the county, and obviously a great program under Coach Fritz’s leadership with outstanding student-athletes. We are very fortunate that we have the opportunity to accept, and we are challenging our team, coaching staff and student-athletes to do a wonderful job representing the USA and a wonderful experience this summer. We do appreciate the people that support our volleyball program. We also appreciate Nike, which is working in partnership with K-State to outfit our team for this event. They are a great long-term partner of Kansas State University. I also want to recognize President Schulz, and K-State 2025, the university’s plan to move K-State into the ranks of the top 50 research universities by the year 2025. International familiarity with international students is very important part of that plan. We have about 2,000 international students enrolled at K-State right now including a number of student-athletes. I congratulate Coach Fritz and our team for earning this tremendous honor and look forward to following their success on the internet.”

Head Coach Suzie Fritz
Opening statement…
“We are honored by the invitation, and it is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for us.  We get to pack up our team and go half way across the world, and we get to represent our country. It is something, as an athlete and a student-athlete, you do not have very many opportunities to do. It is a very special experience, one that we are honored by, one that we take great pride in, and hope to go over there and compete. We will have an opportunity to compete with some of the best athletes in the world in the age range of 18 to 27. We will be competing against players that have tremendous international experience, potentially have professional experience, and some that are the best in the world. The opportunity to put USA on your back and not only do that, but represent our institution, represent Kansas State. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are honored to be a part of it.”

On getting a leg up on competition…
“There is some significant advantage. The NCAA rules do not allow you to spend any time with your team. Most years when we show up in early August we have two weeks to be prepared for a very competitive Big 12 season, so we have some limitations in terms of how long we have them ready to go. This opportunity just accelerates that process for us. We get a little bit of training time going into the event, and we get 12 days of competition essentially to be able to play over the course of three days. Hopefully we can make it out of pool play and continue to qualify from there. I think the advantages from a competitive preparation perspective are unmatched.”

Senior Defensive Specialist Tristan McCarty
On her reaction…
“It is an exciting opportunity, like Coach Fritz said, a once-in-a-lifetime. You hardly ever get to hear that you get to go around the world and play the sport that you love every day. As a little girl, you always want to play at the top of your game, and we finally get the opportunity to do so. Thank you to our athletic department for making it possible. Thank you to our coaching staff for putting in all the time and effort to make this thing happen, and all of our support staff. Our athletes are going to go get ready to compete in Russia.”

On the most exciting part for this experience…
“We were not eligible for a foreign trip this year so I know for our senior class it is definitely exciting to get to go abroad and play in another country. We get to experience the culture, the language, and the all-around difference from the U.S., but we are excited to be able to compete as well and play volleyball, so it is super exciting for both levels of that.”

On getting a leg up on competition…
“When you first hear that your coaches first get you, your initial thought is ‘dang it, where did my summer go?’ But the opportunity is great. We get an entire month and a half to get ready for next season that not any other team in the country gets. So we get to take advantage of that opportunity, and just get as best as we can without losing that competitive drive throughout the summer where you have two months to lose that. You are playing against the same people every single day. We get to go compete against some of the top athletes in the world in our sport. So that is huge for our preseason preparation.”

Redshirt Freshman Setter Katie Brand
On her reaction…
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are just really excited to represent K-State as team USA. “

On the most exciting part for this experience…
“We are very excited to go over there to experience the culture. It is an amazing opportunity to get out of the country and play teams at that high of a level.“

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