Matt Gade, Deseret News
Erin Redd-Brandon is a big reason why the Utah volleyball team got off to its best start in school history at 10-0 before losing to BYU last week. The senior middle blocker from Spanish Fork has been a four-year starter and ranks high on several career lists at Utah.
Earlier this year she became the first Utah volleyball player to earn Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. She recently talked with Deseret News sports writer Mike Sorensen about herself and the Ute team.
Your team is off to its best start ever. What have been the keys to your fast start this year?
We’re a very experienced team, losing only one senior from last year. That contributes to it a lot, and the girls work very hard to accomplish our goals, one of which is to make it to the NCAA tournament this year.
You recently became the first Utah player to win Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. Tell us what that means to you.
It was a really cool honor to get, but I honestly couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I get block assists because my teammates make good blocks, so I can’t do it alone and I need them to help me.
You were a prep star at Spanish Fork High School. Why did you decide to come to the University of Utah?
The program at Utah is awesome. The coaches are great and when I came here on a visit, the girls were great and treated me like family. They have a great tradition here of winning and an overall environment of winning I was excited to be a part of. It has been a very great experience and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
You’re 6 foot 3, which is very advantageous for volleyball, but how challenging is it to be that tall in your everyday life?
I like being tall; I embrace it, so I don’t see anything thing wrong with being tall. It’s great.
The Pac-12 is the toughest league in the country with six teams ranked in the Top 25. How do you feel like the Utes are going to do in the league this year?
We’re definitely aiming for the upper half of the pack this year. We figure if we make it in the upper half of the pack, we’ll definitely make the NCAA tournament, so that’s our goal.
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