VIRGINIA LOTTERY STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: ROMANA KRISKOVA

JUST THE FACTS: Although just a sophomore, Kriskova is putting together the finest offensive season in program history. Last weekend, she led VCU to a pair of conference sweeps when she averaged 5.50 kills per set and fired seven service aces. The Bratislava, Slovakia native currently ranks fourth nationally in points (5.56) and seventh in kills (4.80) per set, while hitting .276. Her 456 kills are the fifth-most by a Ram in a single season. For her efforts, the 6-foot-3 outside hitter has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference's Offensive Player of the Week four times this season. Behind their offensive sparkplug, the Rams are 19-5 and sit in first place in the A-10 at 7-1.

ON WHETHER THE RAMS' SUCCESS THIS YEAR HAS BEEN A SURPRISE: I shouldn't say it, but I didn't expect we were going to do as well as [we have]. After last year, we had a really good year and we lost like, seven players. It's almost like a whole new team. So I didn't expect we were going to be in first place.

ON HER SUCCESS IN VCU'S NEW OFFENSE: It's a completely new offense and position for me this year. So this is completely new for me this year, and it's really fast, so I had to work hard during the summer to prepare myself and to be ready to run it.

ON THE LOSS OF SETTER CECILIA ARAGAO: She was a leader to our team, so that was really huge when she wasn't able to play [the rest of] this year. So we just kind of had to play. We didn't have any choice because now we only have 10 players. Everyone who can play, plays. When we lost C.C., I was kind of scared because we'd have a new setter, and she's a freshman. But I am so glad [Kaitlyn LaMantia] is doing so well. She brings a lot of passion a lot of energy to the team.
 
WHAT SHE MISSES MOST ABOUT SLOVAKIA:
Family, friends, culture, food. Oh my gosh, I miss the food. I was about to bring some [food] from home when I was coming here, but my travel takes like 10 hours on the plane.
 
ON COMING TO THE UNITED STATES:
I was kind of scared when I was coming here because my English was really bad. It was something totally and completely new; new people, new language. It's not a new sport, but it is a little bit different than European volleyball; and school and everything. I was feeling like I left my life over there, and now I'm going to start a new life from the beginning. I didn't know anybody. I didn't know where I was.

WHAT SHE LIKES ABOUT THE U.S.:
I like your mentality, which is that you always smile. You walk on the street, you don't know anyone and everybody says 'hi, have a good day.' They're so friendly. Also, in games, I'm used to getting mad at myself when I miss a ball. And people around me are like, 'okay, next ball,' smiling. So I think, they do it, I should too.
 
BEGAN PLAYING VOLLEYBALL:
10 years old.
 
PREFERRED SPORT IF VOLLEYBALL WASN'T AN OPTION:
When I was young, I played ice hockey and soccer with my brother and cousins. I was the only girl there. I was always the goalkeeper. I like tennis too.
 
FAVORITE TV SHOW:
I have two. "The Big Bang Theory" and "Baggage."  
 
FAVORITE MOVIE:
I don't have specifically one, but if I had to say, I'd say "Pursuit of Happyness."
 
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF VOLLEYBALL:
Hang out with friends, Skyping, walking just to get outside and be in nature.  
 
FAVORITE PLACE IN RICHMOND:
Carytown
 
WHERE SHE'D GO IF SHE HAD AN ALL-EXPENSES PAID VACATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
: Home
 
BIGGEST FEAR:
Spiders
 
DREAM JOB:
Professional volleyball player
 
 
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