Following up on today's story on redshirt sophomore Darcy Dorton's relationship with Minnesota setter Mia Tabberson, we talked to Tabberson about Dorton and the Golden Gophers' showdown with the Nittany Lions tonight.
The Daily Collegian: Describe your relationship with Darcy Dorton.
Mia Tabberson: She is one of my very good friends from home. Obviously, we had a relationship on the court and off the court. We were teammates in the club season but then high school rivals. Her team actually beat my team in senior year of high school, which she still reminds me of. But we were very good friends as well, we spent a lot of time driving to practices. We were from a pretty small town, so she was one of the people I definitely spent a lot of time with. And she still to this day has been a very close friend. I actually got to talk to her yesterday when they got into Minneapolis. She's someone I can go to with any kind of frustration, whether it's school or volleyball or personal life. We talk about the good things and the bad things.
TDC: What's it like having played against her in high school and continuing to play against her in college?
Tabberson: It's definitely awesome. We're both very competitive people, and so, obviously neither one of us likes to lose. You see each other and there's all kinds of excitement. I like playing old teammates more than anyone else, for sure. We play the match but then we're able to kind of still be friends afterwards, regardless of who wins or loses. Penn State has obviously beaten us a few more times than we've beaten them, but it's really nice to play a match and see a friendly face across the court, and still be able to have a friendly competition between the two of us.
TDC: Is there any extra motivation to try to beat one of your friends when you play them?
Tabberson: Oh, of course. There's definitely bragging rights that go along with that. Of course, you don't bring it up right after the match, because the loser is usually pouting or whining or something. But, we definitely have a tally of who has beaten who how many times in different events. I still remind her that I beat her in putt-putt one time in my life. And regardless of how many national championships she's won, I beat her in putt-putt, so that's what really counts. But there's always definitely an extra motivation when you're playing someone you know and someone you care about. You want to obviously beat them, but you also want to show how good you are, how good you've gotten, kind of one-up the other person. Healthy competition though, always healthy.
TDC: What are your thoughts on tonight's match between your team and Penn State?
Tabberson: We're super excited about the match tonight. It's going to be nice to play on our home court. We played Penn State obviously once earlier in the season. We want to go out tonight and really just play the best game we possibly can. We hope Penn State plays the best game they have as well. And whoever wins, wins, and regardless, it's a great match. Our team just really hopes that we can put everything together we can in practice and come out and have a good match.