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Say What?? North Dakota athletes answer the questions you really need to know

UND Athletics

Every North Dakota student-athlete has a voice and we want to hear from them. Not everyone answered the call but more than 180 Fighting Hawks student-athletes unveiled their thoughts on topics ranging from superstitions to facial hair. They gave us a bit of everything. Now it’s your turn to read about it in our athletic department-wide survey. Welcome to “Say What??”

UND volleyball

Who do you believe is the best defensive player on the team and why?        

Teodora Tepavac

“She will always be behind the first line of defense. She digs everything!”

“The girl has good reflexes and can read players very well.”

What will you miss the most about the five seniors from this year’s team?

“Their strong personalities and friendliness.”

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What part of your game did you need to improve your freshman year and how did you do it?

“I think I really needed to improve my defense, and I thought I did that with a change in my mentality. There’s a saying that defense wins championships and that’s definitely proven to be true.”

What’s one fun fact you learned about Mark Pryor since joining the team?

“I didn’t know that he was an acting major in college.”

When you think back to this season ten years from now, what do you think you’ll remember the most?

“I think I’ll remember the crazy superstitions this team had. At the conference tournament, we went to The Cheesecake Factory before our Thursday match and we each ate cheesecake. Obviously, we won, so the next night we had to get cheesecake at the restaurant. When we beat Idaho, a few of us went into full-on panic mode because our coaches wouldn’t get us cheesecake that night (they didn’t believe in our superstitions) so I called my family and made them go buy us some cheesecake. (Shoutout to them!) Poor Jordan Vail didn’t even like cheesecake but we made her try a bite every night because she had a piece the first night.“

Who did you room with during road trips and what made them a suitable roommate?

It changed every trip, but I will never forget when Teo and I found bed bugs in her bed…

What do you like to do to kill time while traveling to away matches?

Sleep. Study. SING.”

UND football

How do you decompress after a game?

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“After a home game, I’ll normally go out to eat with my parents and then watch other college football games.”

“If I have family (in town), I just unwind and relax with them, talk about the game. I also think about what I could’ve done better and look at the highlights.”

“I eat a large meal, and then lay flat on the floor taking deep breaths.”

Will the Minnesota Vikings ever win a Super Bowl?

44% No

56% Yes

What’s the toughest away stadium you’ve played in?

“Southern Utah’s elevation was extremely difficult to breathe and make checks on the field.”

What’s your go-to postgame meal?

22% Pizza

78% Other

“Something very savory, I usually like big rib eye steaks. Sushi is also a good choice too.”

What’s the number one quality you look for in a leader?

41% Attitude

37% Commitment

18% Confidence

4% Ability to inspire

What player in the NFL at your position do you try to model your game after and why?

“Adam Thielen because he was undrafted, started at the bottom and worked his way to the top.”

“I recently switched positions to wide receiver, so now I am really watching Adam Thielen. He is a great model of a hard worker who takes his craft seriously.”

What’s your favorite quality about head coach Bubba Schweigert?

“I love how he cares for us as if we were his family. He doesn’t just care about football, he cares about what we do in the classroom, and how we interact and behave in the community.”

“How hard he works. Whether that is filling up the Alerus Center or coaching us on the field. If you thought we worked hard, he works that hard, plus some.”

und soccer

What makes Grand Forks a great community to play soccer in?

“It’s a college town, so everyone is a Fighting Hawks fan!”

Choosing only one, what’s the best trait a soccer player can have?

65% Hustle

14% Positioning

14% Ball skills

7% Anticipation

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like playing on turf fields?

8.2/10

What’s the most difficult transition from high school to college soccer?

“A social life is non-existent in-season, but I don’t mind, the girls are amazing.”

Who is the most influential soccer player you look up to?

“Mia Hamm”

“Abby Wambach”

“Megan Rapinoe”

“Julie Johnston”

What is head coach Chris Logan’s best trait?

“His accent.”

“He’s very dry when he’s telling a joke so it’s hilarious.”

Do you have any pregame or matchday rituals you always follow?

“I always listen to Kendrick Lamar before I step on the field. I also like to meditate before the game and sometimes have a piece of chocolate.”

“Put on my right shoe/shin guard/sock before my left.”

und hockey

Would you rather never sharpen your skates or never retape your stick?

100% Retape stick

What’s the funniest (kid-friendly) chirp you’ve ever heard directed at you?

“How’d you sneak on the ice?”

“Coach know you’re out here?”

“I think the world is flat.”

“Denver student section had a sign saying they matched with my mom and sister on Tinder.”

Who grew the best mustache this November?

57% Hayden Shaw

23% Matt Kiersted

10% Christian Wolanin

10% Other

The worst mustache?

20% Zach Yon & Austin Poganski

What Grand Forks event do you look forward to most every year?

“Spring Fest and concerts at the Ralph.”

The Ralph has many great features, but what’s the best part of the building, in your opinion? Why?

“The lounge is the best part of the locker room because you’re always with the boys and it’s in mint condition.”

“I would say the way the history and tradition of the program is portrayed all throughout the arena. It reminds you every day that you are playing for something bigger than yourself.”

How do you decompress after a game?

“Normatec and Netflix”

What’s Grand Forks’ best-kept secret?

“LeAnne Poolman’s Thanksgiving dinners.”

“Undercover, (it has the) best summer environment.”

und women's basketball

Who or what motivates you the most? Why?

“My dad motivates me the most. He is my biggest fan and biggest critic and went through college athletics as well so he’s able to help me through it.”

Outside of the Betty, what gym do you enjoy playing in the most in the Big Sky?

Idaho State

“It’s a smaller gym so they are right along the sidelines. It’s loud, adrenaline is pumping and always a dogfight to the end.”

What genre of music do you listen to before competition? Any specific artist or song?

“Drake.”

“Oldies!!!”

“My rap playlist! Lots of Cardi B.”

What’s been your favorite class at North Dakota so far?

“Cell biology”

“Women’s Gender Studies”

“Exercise Physiology”

“Abnormal Psychology”

What’s your favorite thing about head coach Travis Brewster?

“My favorite thing about Coach Brew would have to be his honesty. No matter how much you might not want to hear it, he is always willing to let you know what’s up. Also, he is not just there for you on the basketball court, he is there for you whenever and wherever.”

Which coach still has the most game?

58% Katelin Oney

Why do you think it’s important to help in the community?

“(It) gives us an opportunity to give back to the people who support us and helps us make a difference in the lives of others.”

und men's basketball

What advice do you have for a freshman?

“Stay dedicated and committed to your goals.”

What genre of music do you listen to before competition?

100% Rap

Who or what motivates you the most? Why?

“My family because of how much they have sacrificed for me.”

What’s your favorite thing about head coach Brian Jones?

“He’s not just a great coach but a great person as well.”

Which coach still has the most game?

100% Jeff Horner

Who was your most difficult nonconference matchup?

50% Creighton

How do you think UND has helped you mature into an adult?

“I’ve learned things at the university that you can’t learn at home, like time management, accountability, how to work harder than you have before and many more things off the court.”

und women's track and field

If you could compete in an event that you don’t already compete in, what would it be?

50% Pole vault

“It’s very impressive to watch!”

If you could only eat one thing before a meet what would it be?
37% Protein bar

33% Fruits

27% Carbohydrates

3% Smoothie

How have the coaches been helpful to your development?

63% Technique/Form

23% Strength

14% Motivation

If you weren’t a track athlete, what sport would you play and why?

Soccer (Tie)

”Soccer because it requires a lot of teamwork.”

Basketball (Tie)

”I played basketball my whole life and love it just as much as I love track.”

What’s something new you learned this semester?

“Get as much sleep as possible.”

“10 to 15 minutes of shivering yielded the same increase in production as one hour of moderate exercise. I tried to convince my coach that it could be a new workout but it didn’t work.”

“The importance of getting new running shoes frequently to prevent injuries.”

What’s better: indoor or outdoor season?

93% Indoor

und men's track and field

If you could only eat one thing before a meet what would it be?

39% Carbohydrates

31% Protein bar

11% Fruits

11% Other

8% Smoothie

What advice do you have for a UND freshman?

“Commit to a long-term vision and recognize the consistent daily effort it will take to reach your goals.”

What do you do at meets when your event isn’t going on?

“Cheer on teammates, but don’t try to waste too much of my own energy in the process.”

What’s better: indoor or outdoor season?

93% Outdoor

If you could compete in an event that you don’t already compete in, what would it be?

“Discus.”

“Not to toot my own horn but I’m pretty good at Frolfing!”

How have the coaches been helpful to your development?

60% Technique/Form

28% Strength

12% Motivation

If you weren’t a track athlete, what sport would you play?

35% Football

What’s your favorite part about having the High Performance Center?

“Not doing workouts in sub-zero temperatures. Also, our extra-bass speaker for blasting music during workouts.”

“Having a 300-meter track instead of a 200-meter track is an incredible difference.”

und women's golf

Which course are you looking most forward to playing at this spring?

57% Boulder Creek – Boulder City, Nevada

What’s Grand Forks best-kept secret?

“It’s more than just a hockey community; it’s a sports and family community.”

What’s the single greatest putting tip you ever received?

“Just tap it in.” – Happy Gilmore

Do you have A personal routine you have to follow before or during a round? What is it?

“The last thing I do in my warm-up is make four footers over and over again from the same spot. Watching the ball go in the hole boosts my confidence for the round.”

Have you ever gotten a hole-in-one?

57% No

43% Yes

What’s the most beautiful course you have ever played on?

Hobble Creek Golf Course Springville, Utah

What was the most challenging?

Classic Club in Palm Springs, California

On average, how many yards would you say people lie about their farthest drive?

“25-50 yards.

und men's golf

What’s the single greatest putting tip you ever received?

“Aim small, miss small.”

What’s the most beautiful course you have ever played on?

TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona

What was the most challenging?

“Boulder Creek GC when the wind blows. It’s a 7,600-yard course exposed in the desert. It only gets tougher when serious adjustments need to be made for the wind on every shot.”

What’s the best golf movie and why?

“I’d say a tie between ‘Tin Cup’ and ‘Happy Gilmore.’ ‘Tin Cup’ because I like the acting from Kevin Costner and Cheech Marin. ‘Happy Gilmore’ because I grew up watching it and it makes golf into a comedy.”

Have you ever gotten a hole-in-one?

75% No

25% Yes

Do you have a personal routine you have to follow before or during a round? What is it?

“I don’t really have a routine, I just like to keep the mood light and crack a few jokes.”

Which course are you looking most forward to playing at this spring?

Boulder Creek Golf Club (Las Vegas, Nevada)

On average, how many yards would you say people lie about their farthest drive?

“10-20 yards”

und women's tennis

What’s the key to having a good doubles partner?

“Chemistry is the key to having a good doubles partner. If you trust your partner and are aware of their capabilities, then you become a hard team to beat, not just physically, but mentally also.”

What major tournament would you rather play in and why?

Wimbledon

“It is the oldest most prestigious tournament.”

“I love the atmosphere and I hear they have great strawberries and cream!”

If you could play a tennis match against any professional player, who would it be?

29% Serena Williams

29% Roger Federer

Double or singles?

71% Singles

29% Doubles

What Grand Forks event do you look forward to the most every year?

57% The Potato Bowl

How has Tom Wynne helped your game?

“I’ve learned so much from him the last two and a half years. I can actually hit a backhand now.”

Who has the best serve on the team and why?

“Carmen (Palumbo) because her serve is powerful and has good placement all the time.”

“Preethi (Kasilingam) because she has so much variety.”

“Elly (Hartnett) has the best serve on the team. She can place it on a pin if she wants to.”

und men's tennis

What away tournament are you looking forward to most this season?

Southern Utah

“We don’t like them, and they don’t like us. That match is always a battle.”

If you could play a tennis match against any professional player, who would it be?

75% Roger Federer

Who has the best serve on the team and why? You can’t say yourself.

50% Daniel Martinez

“Because of the lefty sauce.”

50% Lukas Buth

“He’s 6’4’’ and has an absolute cannon.”

Which do you prefer: Doubles or singles?

63% Singles

37% Doubles

How has Tom Wynne helped your game?

“He helped me in psychological aspects.”

“Tom has helped me so much in the area of tennis strategy. He has an elite tennis mind, and is (almost) always right about everything.”

What Major tournament would you rather play in?

37.5% US Open

37.5% French Open

25% The Championships, Wimbledon 

und softball

Who’s the fastest player on the team?

83% Victoria Minor

What’s something new you learned this semester?

“I’ve learned that Coach (Jordan) Stevens gives signs extremely fast.”

“How to say ‘physiology of behavior and psychophysiological measurement’ three times fast.”

Which tournament are you most looking forward to this season?

83% Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii

What’s Grand Forks’ best-kept secret?

“There’s one hill in all of Grand Forks despite the common belief that there’s none.”

What advice do you have for an incoming freshman?

“It’s not as cold as you think, but be ready to have a learning curve because, besides school, softball, social life and family, the weather will throw you a curve ball, too. It’s also the best place I could imagine going to school.”

Where have you made the most improvement since coming to North Dakota and who is responsible for the improvement?

“My most improved aspect would have to be my mindset and attitude. Being a student-athlete is challenging and hard to balance at times, and being here has helped me improve the balancing process. Attitude reflects all that we do as athletes and the second your attitude turns cold, things get out of wack. I would say that the one who has helped me improve in all these aspects would be Amanda Hadju, who is our academic advisor. She always makes sure we are getting better and are balancing everything right. Even if I’m not stressed, I still go to her to talk things out and stay positive.”

Which one of your coaches would you rather see take batting practice?

59% Jordan Stevens

33% Hannah Pomeroy

8% Ally Kutz

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