SEC Q&A: Tennessee's Nikki Fowler > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Q&A: Tennessee's Nikki Fowler

    This is the first of the 2010 SEC "Q&A" segments, where SECSports.com sits down with conference players and coaches to talk about their respective seasons. This special feature to website begins with Tennessee volleyball star Nikki Fowler, who is preparing for the opening weekend of conference play and a matchup with rival Florida.

    SECSports.com: Tennessee has gotten off to a strong start this year on the court. Talk about how your team prepared during the summer to ensure you could start off the season on a high note.

    Fowler: We all came in this summer and worked really hard. We have a goal, and that goal is to win, and that is what our focus has been. We wanted to come out and have a good preseason and I feel like we have done that.

    SECSports.com: During the opening portion of your schedule, is there anything specific that your team has worked on or tried to focus on so far?

    Fowler: I think that we have worked on our defense a lot. We have a big team and we block well.

    SECSports.com: Can you explain to people that maybe don’t follow SEC volleyball, what is the schedule like and how difficult can it be to navigate it successfully?

    Fowler: Even since my freshman year, it (the SEC) has gotten much stronger. We go and play two teams every weekend, and I think it benefits us in the long run. When it comes to post-season, we are ready and can pull from the experiences we have had playing lots of different teams.

    SECSports.com: You square off against a big rival in Florida this weekend. What is the intensity of that rivalry like and how do you feel you match up against them this year?

    Fowler: I think it is always exciting to play good teams. We just look at it as playing another great team and its fun because we have had some great battles.

    SECSports.com: You’re a senior, and have spent your entire career at Tennessee. Looking back, how have you progressed as a player from when you first arrived on campus?

    Fowler: I think in general, I have become a more mature player. I know how to handle things and I don’t get flustered on the court, which has become a big advantage for me. Also defensively, I have improved when it comes to reading the attack from the back row.