Hampton University Senior Athlete Vendula Strakova is an Economics major, from Brno, Czech Republic. Strakova was named MEAC athlete of the week in September and October, as part of the HU Volleyball Team which is undefeated in the MEAC. Stakova is ranked nationally in five categories in the NCAA Div. 1 sports. The Student Connection asked Strakova about her accomplishments and how they motivated her success.
You have been recognized as the MEAC player of the week multiple times, how does that make you feel? How do you continue to accomplish this goal?
Any award makes you feel good about yourself. It is great feeling to be recognized for your hard work and it definitely boosts my confidence. My goal is not to win MEAC player of the week, however. My goal and goal of the whole team is to win every game by giving our best in a practice and in the game. Those awards are just a bonus to our wins. I believe that our hard work will lead us to the championship and hopefully much farther.
How do you set yourself apart from the rest of the players to be able to be recognized nationally?
I'm not sure what exactly sets me apart from the rest of the players. It might be a nature of our game style, which gives me many opportunities to earn points and I also think that it is a chemistry of our team. I would be nothing without my teammates. Without them doing their part of the game I wouldn't be able to do mine, which is little unfairly more recognized than the others.
What drives you to continue to try your hardest?
I consider myself to be very competitive and I also hate to lose. I hate to lose more than I like to win. The worst feeling is when you lose a match and you feel that you didn't give your best, that if you had done a little bit more and maybe you would have won. I just do my best every time I'm on the court, so I never have to feel like that.
What is the best part about being a part of the Hampton University family and volleyball team?
Sometimes it can be hard to live so far from my family and friends, who all live in Czech Republic, so it is really nice to be part of my new volleyball family here.
After graduating from HU, what are your plans both on and off of the court?
I don't have an exact plan yet, but I would like to continue to grad school and hopefully find an assistant job with volleyball as well. I'm not really planning to actively play after school. I will take a little vacation from volleyball.
What is your strategy this year in aiding your team to the MEAC championship?
My strategy is always to give my best in practice and in the games. We are a great team with amazing volleyball skills and if each of us gives all she has in every game. I don't think that any team in our conference could beat us.
In general, sports is a male dominated field. How do you think women sports are perceived in the media on a broad spectrum?
I think that unless the sport requires women to wear either swimsuit or short shorts, it will never be truly appreciated. Women sports are very underestimated in media and unfortunately it would be very hard to change this stereotype.
Sechemelia Lewis '15