Arielle Turner is a sophomore on the women’s volleyball team. She is a 20-year-old outside hitter from Leavenworth, Washington.
Q: How old were you when you started playing volleyball?
A: I started in the sixth grade, so about 12 years old.
Q: Did you love it right away?
A: Yeah. We had just moved to Leavenworth and my sister was in the eighth grade and she made the A-team so I would go to practice with her. The sixth grade didn’t have volleyball so I just watched her practice and eventually became their manager and it just went on from there.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to have a collegiate volleyball career?
A: I decided freshman year of high school because I had to quit basketball. Our varsity coach wasn’t for club volleyball because it conflicts with the winter season of basketball, so I basically had to choose.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the sport?
A: The relationships you build with your teammates and the coaches, by far. I still have all my volleyball friends from high school and I still talk to my coach from high school. Talking to alumni from Western, they’re still all friends with their old teammates.
Q: How do you and your teammates bond off the court?
A: We always joke that we don’t really have many outside friends besides from volleyball, so we’re each other’s best friends. We do movie nights, or team nights where we just hang out. Basically we’re already together so much, whether it’s lifting weights or practicing. Whatever season it is, we do things like go to the pumpkin patch or something. We lost five seniors, but we’ve brought a lot of people back and we’ve all just become really close over the past year.
Q: What are some of your other hobbies?
A: People ask me that all the time and volleyball is like a full-time job, so if you’re not doing volleyball you’re studying, or going to school. That’s pretty much it, because it’s a full commitment.
Q: Describe a typical day in your life.
A: For volleyball, practice is set at 3 p.m. every day, so we mainly have to take morning classes, which means 8:30 a.m. classes are really common. A lot of girls even go to class until 2:50 p.m. A lot of girls eat lunch while we watch film and then after practice we do homework and catch up on anything else we need to do.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: We started one this year where we all get in a circle with the coaches and we touch pinkies and say one thing we’re going to focus on during practice. We do it for games, too. So we say that and then that’s our focus for practice and when we come back together we say how it went and then give a shoutout or a compliment to someone.
Q: Describe your favorite game you’ve ever played in.
A: We went to Alaska last weekend and we were in Anchorage. They are a really good team and we won the first two sets but the next two we lost. I sprained my ankle in the beginning of the season so I hadn’t been playing a lot and it was the fifth game and we were down 10-7 and Diane put me in to serve. I was so nervous I was shaking. I served and we just rallied off four points, so we stayed in the game and ended up winning 14-16. That was probably the most memorable. That was a really fun match. It continued our winning streak.
Q: What are three words that describe you?
A: Sarcastic. I like to joke a lot, so I guess funny. Also dorky.
Q: What are some of your other favorite sports?
A: I did track for three years in high school and other than that, I still played basketball recreationally, but track was a favorite, too. I had to quit that senior year because of club volleyball.
Q: Who are some of the people you look up to the most and why?
A: My sister. She got me into volleyball and we’re really close. Also my high school coach. She really helped me pursue college volleyball. She helped me with recruiting and finding coaches to talk to. My mom who has supported me through everything. And my college coach, Diane Flick. Her and our assistant coach James Suh are like our mom and dad. You can come to them for anything and they always help you out. They have a really big impact, especially during college when you’re just finding out about yourself.
Q: What do you plan to do after Western?
A: I’ll probably go into law enforcement. I want to be a police officer for a couple of years and then I want to try and move over to Virginia to do the FBI Academy.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: I really like pasta.
Q: What TV shows do you watch?
A: Speaking of FBI, there’s a new one called Quantico and it’s about this FBI agent and she’s being set up for this terrorist attack. I just got into that. And then I watch Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Vampire Diaries. I like the Bachelor and Bachelorette. Those are the main ones I stick with.
Q: Which do you prefer: strength training or cardio?
A: Strength training.
Q: Are you involved in any other Western activities?
A: I’m on the SAAC Committee, which is the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. There are two representatives from each team and the meetings are only once a month so it’s nice that it doesn’t take a lot of my time. And then I go to FCA, which is Fellowship of Christian Athletes.