AAC: Meet our Volleyball Mavericks

Nov. 4, 2013

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Welcome to the latest installment of Meet our Mavericks. Each month, we will be spotlighting Mavericks from a specific sport. This will be a question-and-answer session with our Athletic Alumni and current student-athletes. We hope you enjoy getting to know our Mavericks, seeing what our Alumni are doing now, and getting to know our current Mavericks.

This month we are highlighting our Volleyball Mavericks.

Meet Kathy Stanfield, Class of 1976
Q: When did you play at UTA, what did you major in, and why did you pick UTA?
A: I played in 1973 and 1974. I helped Coach Conradt coach in 1975.  I majored in Physical Education with a minor in English. I chose UTA because I knew Coach Conradt was coming to UTA and I wanted to play for her. What a great opportunity it was. I am also from Ft. Worth and UTA was fairly close to home.

Q: What are you doing now?
A: I am currently an Assistant Principal at Lamar High School. I also continue to coach club volleyball for Texas Advantage Volleyball Club.

Q: What is your fondest memory of UTA?
A: Traveling to a tournament with Coach Conradt and Dr. Lowry. We use to have to wear dresses to the tournament. In the first tournament we played in, we did not make it to the finals and had to put our dresses back on. When we inquired as to how we could not have to wear dresses home, the coaches responded, "Be in the finals." After that, we always made the finals.

Q: How did playing college volleyball prepare you for life?
A: It gave me lessons in dealing with people, making choices and accepting the consequences of your actions, being competitive, not accepting failure in life, trusting in God to keep you healthy and on the right path.

Q: Tell us something interesting or unique about yourself.
A: I love to sing gospel music and hunt.

Q: What advice would you give to our current student-athletes?
A: Enjoy your time in college, it passes fast. Try new things and don't be afraid of failure. Make friends that will last a lifetime.

Meet Yoko Matsumoto, Class of 1996
Q: When did you play at UTA, what did you major in, and why did you pick UTA?
A: I played volleyball from 1992-1996 and received my degree in History. I decided to attend UTA because I connected well with many of the players I met during my visit. Being from Dallas, I was far enough from home to independently grow as a young adult, but close enough to have my family there to support me through my college years.

Q: What are you doing now?
A: Live, work, and play in Arlington! For the past five years, I have been working in the Arlington Public Libraries with the City of Arlington where I focus on managing literacy programs that support quality education in our community.

Q: What is your fondest memory of UTA?
A: My fondest memory of UTA was the interesting setup of playing on the stage in Texas Hall! Most visiting teams may have thought that it was strange to play on the stage of an auditorium, but I really enjoyed its uniqueness.

Q: How did playing college volleyball prepare you for life?
A: Playing volleyball at UTA exposed me to new experiences at that time in my life. All my experiences, good and not so good, provided me with knowledge, perspective, and skills that I have used in various stages of my life. The strange thing is that I failed realize how much those experiences would play into my life now. If we could only be born old and grow young...

Q: Tell us something interesting or unique about yourself.
A: A few years after I graduated from UTA I decided to explore the world. I served two and a half years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa. I thought Peace Corps was going to allow me an opportunity to live in a third world country and help them in the process. Looking back at my time in Peace Corps, I realize that the people of Cape Verde provided experiences and opportunities that helped me learn about me. I feel that I left with so much from the amazing islands of Cabo Verde, and its people, than I was able to leave with them.

After Peace Corps, I continued to explore the world and met my husband in the process. Eric and I met when I was visiting the intriguing country of Peru.  We now live in Arlington and have six-year-old twins, Asaya and Matisse…and two dogs Charlie and Lola.

Q: What advice would you give to our current student athletes?
A: Challenge them to step beyond the line of invisible fear and experience life outside what they think is their ability. They will discover exciting, unusual, interesting, and challenging experiences that will allow them to grow personally and enrich their lives.  

Meet Ashley Bennett, Class of 2015
Q: What is your major and why did you choose UT Arlington?
A: I am majoring in Communications and Advertising.  I chose UTA because of the College Park Center, the coaching staff, and the campus.  I love the fact that campus is big, but it has a small feel to it because you can walk across campus easily and it’s a beautiful campus.

Q: How important is tradition to you?
A: Tradition is very important to me. I feel like the tradition is being remolded since we moved to the CPC.  When we played in Texas Hall on the stage, the tradition was about how unique of a place it was.  I feel like we are rebuilding the tradition now that we’ve moved. 

Q: What did it mean for you to receive your Letter Jacket in August?
A: It was a really cool experience. I feel that it unites all of our athletes and will make people aware that we play a sport when we wear it across campus. Hopefully it will be a conversation starter.

Q: What’s it like playing for Diane Seymour, knowing that she is an Alumni of UTA?
A: It’s great because she really knows UTA and the Arlington community. She has been through everything that we go through at school and during a season. It was really cool when the Volleyball Alumni had their reunion.  I kept thinking that they are us, just all grown up. They were goofy, having fun, and still just as close to their teammates as we are now.  It was awesome to see.

Q: Tell us something unique about yourself.
A: I think my background is unique because I come from a single parent home where it has always been just my mom and me. I think it’s unique because when it comes to sports, she has always helped me be competitive and has always been very supportive.

Meet Cassidy Wheeler, Class of 2017
Q: What is your major and why did you choose to be a Maverick?
A: I am majoring in Kinesiology. I chose UTA because I want to attend PT or medical school after I graduate and the science program is really good here. Also, the CPC is amazing and I loved the team here when I came to visit.

Q: What did you think when you saw your teammates get their Letter Jackets?
A: It was a great experience to see them earn that gift for all of their devotion and hard work.  It motivated me to work had so that I could earn that this season. I think it helps establish tradition and that is important because it motivates people.

Q: What legacy do you hope to leave at UTA?
A: So far this season, I feel like our team has a great attitude. We are really developing a winning mindset.  I hope we establish that and that it continues here. That no matter what happens; we still demonstrate an attitude of a winner.

Q: Tell us something unique about yourself.
A: Well I am currently only 17. Growing up, I never went to kindergarten so I am always the youngest in my class. I don’t turn 18 until the end of November. 




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