Senior Taylor Swezey and the third-ranked Virginia field hockey team open the 2010 campaign this weekend in Pennsylvania. The Cavaliers will take on Saint Joseph's at 11 a.m. Saturday at Temple University in Philadelphia before heading west to Penn State for a noon game Sunday. Swezey, a native of Ambler, Pa., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the preseason, her love for music and what advice she would give to future student-athletes.
Question: How did the preseason go?
Swezey: I think the preseason was actually the best of my four years here. I feel like everyone is meshing really well. The biggest thing is that everyone is so positive. It's awesome that we have so many first years and the fact that we have a big team allows us to play more 11 v. 11. It has been great and everyone has been working really hard.
Question: To end the season the way you did last year, in a close game to eventual NCAA champion North Carolina, has that stuck with you and provided motivation? Or do take more of a day-at-a-time approach?
Swezey: I have thought about it, but it doesn't dominate my motivation. To this point, we are taking things a day at a time. We have a new team and need to focus on each game, each opponent, one at a time. Of course we are working to get back there, to the NCAA semifinals, and play for a national championship.
Question: Are you looking forward to opening up the season this weekend and start actually playing some games?
Swezey: Absolutely. It was great to play in the scrimmage against JMU last week but it is going to be awesome to play two games in one weekend. I am happy that we are away; I think it's going to be great.
Question: You play in Philadelphia, near your hometown. What does that opportunity mean to you?
Swezey: I am so excited because it's the first time since I've been at UVa when we have actually played in Philadelphia. Obviously, my family has come to a lot of games, but my family friends have only been at a few. This will be great because there is definitely going to be a bigger crowd. I'm excited to see everyone.
Question: And when you play Penn State on Sunday, you will be playing against some old high school teammates.
Swezey: My best friend growing up, Jenny Purvis, is also a senior for them. Her younger sister Lauren in a freshman and I played field hockey and lacrosse with her too. It was always the three of us. And it's going to be fun to see the two of them play together. And I know Liza (Blue) is really good friends with Lauren, too, from lacrosse.
Question: After graduation, what will be next for you?
Swezey: My degree will be in sociology but I would really like to get into sports marketing or something with music. This summer I have already started going to the University Career Center and am trying to figure out what I would be good at. I'm trying not to look too far ahead; maybe an internship in the spring in Charlottesville. Eventually I am thinking about living out in California for a little bit.
Question: If you could have any job, what would it be?
Swezey: I would want to run my own major record label and manage a ton of bands!
Question: What are some of your favorite bands?
Swezey: I love Say Anything, Gym Class Heroes and Chiddy Bang.
Question: What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Swezey: Probably Say Anything. They were really good; I saw them in Richmond and I have seen them in Norfolk. And Dave Matthews is always awesome too. That is a really hard question.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Swezey: Listen to music, hang out with friends, watch movies and TV. I think I watch every TV show possible.
Question: What TV show would you recommend?
Swezey: Modern Family. How funny is that show? That and Cougartown. They are good. And Gossip Girl, and Weeds. I have so many.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Swezey: My favorite class was my first year and it was my first writing requirement. Every week we would have a different paper to write about a song, or our favorite band. I did one on a Gym Class Hero song and I did one on "Under Pressure" by Queen.
Question: What are you going to remember most about being a student-athlete at UVa?
Swezey: By far what I am going to remember most is how close all the student-athletes are. All the teams get along and going to class is fun because you get to see all your friends. I have visited some friends who are athletes at other schools and I just think what we have here at UVa is very special.
Question: What advice would you give to future student-athletes?
Swezey: Go to your professors, go to office hours. That is huge. If you go, they will know you are interested in their class. They are really helpful and I think it becomes a lot more personal. It makes you want to work harder and do well.