Senior Mitch Usevitch of the Southern Virginia men's volleyball team has been named this weeks Knight of the Week. Standing at 6'5" and playing middle blocker, Mitch has been able to help the Knights secure the No. 8 ranking in the nation this past week. The Gilbert, Arizona native was able to come sit with us to answer some questions about what has made this season so special thus far.
How old were you when you started playing volleyball? What got you interested?
"I think I was a freshman in high school when I started playing. Growing up our family was more interested in basketball because my dad played overseas, but both my older brothers played volleyball in high school. It was a different part of the year so it was easy to play both, and my brothers convinced me that volleyball was just as fun as basketball."
What brought you to Southern Virginia?
"I was at BYU-Idaho when I got married. My wife and I had started to think about going somewhere new because we had just started a life together and wanted a new scene. Thats when I saw my friend Colby had been playing Volleyball here at the University and I figured that if he could play here so could I. We didn't even visit, we just sent in our applications and packed up the car. Next thing I know we are living in Buena Vista and I am doing the thing I love."
After a strong start to the season, what do you credit the success to?
"I'd say our success has stemmed a lot from the experience we have on our team. We have quite a few seasoned players that are able to really teach the younger guys and help them succeed. It has been amazing to see just how well we have been able to work together as well. Our chemistry is really amazing, and I think that is where a lot of other teams are lacking."
What has been the greate moment of the season?
"I'll have to give a little background story first. Last season we played Juniata at their gym, and we had taken a 2-0 lead. I don't know how or why, but we ended up losing that match 3-2. We just couldn't close out. This season they were coming here, and they were ranked at 14 or something so we all knew they would be feeling pretty good. We just really focused in practice on that match, and knew we needed to have top notch practices in order to win. We once again were up 2-0, and had once again allowed them to win 2 straight games to tie us at 2-2. But we were able to get our revenge and win 3-2 unlike last year."
Do you have a pre-game routine?
"No I actually don't. When my dad played at BYU he used to have one where he wouldn't eat starting 2.5 hours before the game. But honestly I just don't really see the need for stuff like that. I just like to hang around and have fun before our games."
What are you future plans after Southern Virginia and volleyball?
"I would really like to start playing beach volleyball, but just as a hobby. I know that volleyball isn't the future for my family, but I would still love to be involved in it someway. I am currently studying Business management with an emphasis in marketing, and am looking for career opportunities possibly in Arizona, or Kansas. Other than that, I am just focusing on the rest of this season, and spending time with my wife."