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5 Questions for Hilmar volleyball's Emily Baptista
Hilmar volleyball's Emily Baptista is entering her junior year, fresh off a run at the Section title last year. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Q. You were a standout sophomore on the court for Hilmar volleyball. Have you made any changes to your game for your junior season?

A. “I think I just have more practice; [and] being more aggressive in practice. And during club I really worked hard to come back and give it my all this season in high school.”

Q. What was it like reaching the Section Finals last season and how did the close loss to Sonora affect your preparation for this season?

A. “It was really exciting and it was great that all of our hard work kind of paid off, that we actually made it to sections. And the close loss was really hard for all of us but it made us, the returning girls, work twice as hard at practice because we didn’t want to go through that again. So if we do make it to sections, we’re going to come back twice as strong.”

Q. Do you think you and your team can return to the section tournament this year?

A. “I think we can. It’s been kind of hard losing so many girls from last year, but we’re working hard in practice and we’re hoping to make it all the way back to sections.”

Q. Have you been in contact with any interested college teams?

A. “I’ve been in contact with a couple colleges, but I’ve been mostly in contact with the University of Pacific and I have talked to University of Nevada, Reno and UC Irvine and I recently went on a visit to the University of Notre Dame.”  

Q. How would you describe your style of play?

A. “I think I’m mostly a strategic player. Like, I think of where the holes are on the court and I really think of how to play the ball and things like that. But I think I’m mostly strategic with maybe a little bit of aggressiveness, you know like you always have to have that aggressiveness. But I think I’m mostly a strategist.”