Senior Abby Snyder will be one of three members of the Viriginia softball team who will be honored this weekend when the Cavaliers welcome No. 22 Florida State for its final regular season game. Snyder, along with Nicole Koren and Sarah Tacke, are helping UVa to arguably its best season in program history, already having amassed the school record for ACC victories in a season. Snyder recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the team's recent trip to Boston, senior day, what she'll be up to next year and her advice to future student-athletes.
Question: How was the trip to Boston?
Snyder: It was a huge weekend for us. Wow. For one, the sweep. It's tough to sweep anyone, even if you are supposed to sweep them. You get two wins and the pressure is off the last game. We made it a little interesting but took the win and that's all that matters. It was a good weekend for our offense, defense and pitching - our offense was on fire. We made history with those ACC wins - that was huge for us. We had definitely been talking about that. The Red Sox game topped it off. I never thought I would get to go to Fenway and see a Red Sox game. You never go to major league games with your college teams because you are always playing ball. It was an all-around good weekend.
Question: You get to rest some this week and then have Florida State this weekend? How is the team preparing?
Snyder: We just need to keep doing what we are doing because it's working. We don't really need to do any more to prepare for them. We've seen good pitching and we've played good teams. We've beaten good teams. We just need to stick to our game plan and go for it like coach says, every pitch.
Question: What will you feel like on Sunday, to play your last home game at The Park?
Snyder: We don't like to talk about it. Ask me when it's over! But we know we have to face it Sunday; though it won't be our last game. It's scary. This has been the best experience of my life and I don't want it to end.
Question: What has it been like for you three to stick through some rough times and now be able to go out with the year you are having?
Snyder: Huge. We have talked about having a great year. We want to have a great finish. Having that and possibly going to regionals for the first time ever, it makes everything worth it. The coaching changes - now we have the best coaching staff ever. The years where we had only 15 wins. We had some rough seasons and it makes all of it worth it to have a season like this, knowing UVa softball will only get better.
Question: The team was picked seventh in the ACC poll, and this weekend you have the chance to clinch second. Is it easier without having expectations?
Snyder: I don't know if I would really say it's easier because no matter what you have to go for it every time. I do feel like the whole season we have had nothing to lose. Even now, we have nothing to lose. The teams we play are going to be more ramped up than maybe they were last year, but they are still going to expect to beat us. We just go for it every time. If we play our game, we are going to win. We don't have the pressure.
Question: How is the team chemistry this season?
Snyder: Awesome. Team chemistry is great. We have fun when we play together. If someone doesn't know us, and they overhear us talking to each other, they probably think we hate each other. But it's a lot of love. Everyone is really comfortable with each other. Even when we don't have to hang out together - we hang out together. Last week on our day off we had a picnic on the Lawn.
Question: What is your major and what will you do next year?
Snyder: Kinesiology and I will graduate in May. I am actually going to be here until mid-July, taking a few more classes so I can go to school. I am applying to PA (physicians assistant) school and also will be getting some experience to go with my application. I really want to go to UAB, that is my top choice because they have a surgical PA program. But I am also going to apply to South Alabama, Florida, and school in Georgia.
Question: What advice would you give to future UVa softball players?
Snyder: It goes by faster than you think it ever could. I remember my first year in the fall I thought it was crawling by. Weight room, running, conditioning, I didn't think it was ever going to end. You come to love it. You come to a point where you know you will miss it. Try to appreciate every day you have here.