This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High junior Claire Coleman, who plays on the Tigers' volleyball team.
Auburn Villager: What position do you play?
Claire Coleman: I play middle hitter in the front row.
AV: When did you starting playing volleyball?
CC: I tried out my sixth-grade year and I was the manager that year. And then I tried out my seventh-grade year and I made the junior high team. That's how it started. And then the following year I made varsity.
AV: What do you like most about playing volleyball?
CC: I really like the team aspect of it. Just having a community of girls all together for the same goal is just really fun.
AV: You have 125 kills so far this year. How do you approach getting kills at the net? Any special technique?
CC: I feel like you need to know your good and bad sets. If you're set and you feel like it's off, then you know you shouldn't hit it as hard as you can and just go for placing it at that point. But if it's a perfect set, then really just swing hard go for it.
AV: How long did it take you to learn that?
CC: I feel like my freshman year I did not know that at all. I was learning the ropes, but sophomore I eased into it. But this year, I feel like it was the year that I really figured it out.
AV: You have 58 blocks so far. What's the challenge defending the net?
CC: Blocking is my favorite thing. Literally, it's just watching the other hitter on the other side, watching their shoulder to see where their angle is. So if you see the angle then line yourself up with wherever you think they're going to be hitting.
AV: How do you think the season is going so far?
CC: So far, it's been pretty good. We've won a few games; we've lost a couple, but they were mostly to really good teams. But we've won a lot and we've really been unified this year, so I think we can go far.
AV: Were there any players you emulated or learned from?
CC: Aubrey Holladay. She was a senior last year, and I played from my freshman year when she was a junior. And she really helped as I went along, kind of taught me the ropes.
AV: What did you pick up from her?
CC: Where I should be on the court. Really, she helped me focus on the hitting aspect of it.
AV: Do you play any other sports?
CC: I do not at the moment.
AV: Are you thinking about playing another sport?
CC: I don't know because it's really all about the timing. I need to play club this year for volleyball, and it's just hard to do club and do other things along with classes and such.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports that you enjoy?
CC: Volleyball takes up most of my time. I go to First Baptist Opelika, and I do a lot of stuff with them. That's fun.
Interview by Brian Woodham