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Ms. Erika "E" Castro
Home Phone: 210-566-7201
Volleyball Concludes Season This Weekend
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team will conclude its 2007 regular season when it welcomes Arkansas State and UALR to Earl K. Long Gym for a final homestand this weekend. Friday’s match with A-State is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Saturday’s meeting with UALR is set for 5 p.m. UL fans can follow the action online with Live Stats on RaginCajuns.com.
Prior to Saturday’s match with UALR, Louisiana will honor its two seniors – Erika Castro (San Antonio, Texas) and Tara Cote (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) – during its Senior Day ceremony.
Louisiana (4-27, 3-13 Sun Belt) has lost seven of its last eight matches. The Cajuns completed a season sweep of in-state foe Louisiana-Monroe 3-2 (30-17, 30-25, 28-30, 17-30, 15-12) on Sunday, Oct. 28. It marked the Cajuns’ first five-game win of the 2007 campaign and only the second under current head coach Amy Kraljev.
Last weekend, the Cajuns were denied for the second time this season in five games by North Texas as the Mean Green handed UL a tough 3-2 (30-28, 21-30, 34-32, 23-30, 11-15) defeat on Friday, Nov. 2. UL followed with a 3-0 (14-30, 23-30, 30-32) loss at Denver on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Inman (Fort Worth, Texas) leads Louisiana with 328 kills through 28 matches, while freshman Amie Goodwin (Tucson, Ariz.) leads the squad with 3.26 kills per game. However, the story has been the recent play of freshman middle blocker Caroline Dufrene (Lake Charles, La.).
In the Cajuns’ last 10 matches, Dufrene leads the team with 109 kills (2.87 kills/gm) and 3.41 points per game. Fellow middle blocker Tracie Knowlton (Forest Grove, Ore.) led the team with 48 blocks (1.26 blocks/gm) during that stretch.
Arkansas State (9-18, 5-10 Sun Belt) has lost four straight matches and is in the middle of a four-match road swing to close out the season. Thursday, A-State will face the ULM Warhawks before traveling to Lafayette to face the Ragin’ Cajuns. Earlier this season, the Indians handed UL a 3-0 loss in Jonesboro, Ark., on Sept. 28. A-State holds 30-10 lead in the all-time series with Louisiana.
UALR (19-8, 11-4 Sun Belt), which is in second place in the Sun Belt West Division behind Denver, ended its home season with a 10-0 mark after sweeping Arkansas State 3-0 last Friday. Like the Indians, UALR also defeated the Cajuns 3-0 in Little Rock on Sept. 29. UALR is 24-2 all-time against the Cajuns. In last season’s finale, UL posted a program milestone 3-2 victory over the Trojans in Little Rock. The win marked not only the first five-game win for Kraljev, but it was also the program’s first-ever win on UALR’s home court.
2007 Louisiana Volleyball Senior Class Capsules
#1 Erika Castro, Libero (San Antonio, Texas)
#9 Tara Cote, Setter/Outside Hitter (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Posted on ragincajuns.com on November 7, 2007
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From the Student Athlete Showcase Courtesy RaginCajuns.com Release August 22, 2007
What did you do this summer?
This summer I stayed in Lafayette. I went to summer school and took two classes. I took biology 220 and 221.
So why did you come to Louisiana-Lafayette?
I came here because I fell in love with the team and the atmosphere. I was suppose to come on another visit after I came here, but after the first visit I was sold because of the people and especially the girls on the team.
When did you start playing volleyball?
I started playing volleyball when I was eight years old. I played on a club team and played in middle school. I have been playing on club teams almost all of my life.
What is your fondest memory of playing volleyball?
Wow! That is really hard. It was definitely in high school during my senior year. We beat a team that hadn’t been beaten. It was the first time in about four years that our team had beaten them and got first place in the conference.
Describe a typical practice…
We start off by sitting down and going over our books with our practice goals in them. You do individual goals for yourself and Coach [Amy Kraljev] goes over team goals. We do agilities, which is running and basically getting your body warmed up. Then we stretch and do agilities again to get a little more warmed up. Then we get straight into drills like passing and setting. Then we move on to hitting and at the end we typically have some sort of scrimmage. This year we have more girls on the team so the scrimmages are getting more intense and competitive. Usually my team wins, but not all the time.
What will you miss the most about playing volleyball?
Most definitely the road trip memories. There are a lot of fun things that happen. When you are on the road, it seems like everything goes wrong some times, but it is fun bonding with all the girls, playing cards and hanging out.
What will you miss the least about volleyball?
I will miss preseason the least. I’m not going to lie. Its tough and you are always sore, so I won’t miss the preseason.
What is the best thing about UL volleyball?
The best thing about UL volleyball is how close the team always is. We are really close. We would do anything for each other and we typically do everything together. A lot of teams don’t get along, but this team is really close.
What are your personal goals for your senior season?
My personal goals are definitely to go to the conference tournament and to beat North Texas. They are one of the biggest rivals that we have in conference. I definitely want to make it to the conference tournament though.
Tell the story of how you got one visible scar…
I have one on my knee. It kind of healed up pretty good, but definitely when we are diving a lot during the games my knee pads seem to slide off of my knee and you get really nice skin burns. They are probably about first degree burns and those definitely hurt and it happens over and over again. It takes a while for those to heal up.
What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?
One time when I was growing up my mom made me into a Halloween haunted house. I was in a big cardboard box. It had windows and it was really cool. You would have to see it, but I was really cute as a Halloween house.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is to go all out and have no regrets. I don’t want to look back on my career and think, ‘maybe if I would have done that’ or ‘I could have done this better.’ Go all out and have no regrets.
Being a senior, what advice would you give to the underclassmen?
Always follow the rules, stay ahead of everything as far as class and volleyball and just enjoy the memories because it goes by really quickly.
If you could change wardrobes with anyone on your team, whose would it be and why?
I totally know this answer. It is Tara. She is from Canada and she has the cutest clothes. I don’t know how to explain it, but Tara has the cutest clothes and the cutest outfits that I always want to borrow.
Whose wardrobe would you not want?
Everybody on our team dresses so cute. I really couldn’t say whose I wouldn’t want. I would borrow clothes from any girl on the team.
If you could compete in any other sport at UL what would it be?
I would say track. People always think I run track anyways. I don’t really like to run, but I would like to try to get my body into shape. I also know that they have a new coach who is suppose to be really good so I would want to run for Coach Silvey.
When my volleyball days are over, I want to…
I want to enjoy being a regular student. Waking up when I want to wake up. Working out when I want to work out. Focusing on school and trying to graduate.
How would you liked to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who always had fun; someone who sacrificed and gave her all for volleyball; and someone who was a good student.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
I would have to say my high school club coach. She definitely helped me push myself a lot. She was the one who told me that you can do anything you put your mind to. Having her for a long time definitely helped me with my dedication and respect that I have now.
What is the one possession you can’t live without?
My camera. I love taking pictures. I can’t go without my camera.
Favorite Amy Kraljev quote…
There are so many I can’t even think of one. She gave us one for our quote book today. ‘If it is important to you, you’ll find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.’
One thing most people don’t know about you…
A lot of people don’t know that I am half Puerto Rican. I understand a little bit of Spanish. People think I am Cuban because my name is Castro.
Most embarrassing moment on the volleyball court…
When we were in Denver back when Kim Rodgers was on the team, we were running and Kim’s foot was sticking out and I tripped over her foot. I had my big knee brace on at the time and I just skid across the floor. It was pretty embarrassing during warm-ups and everyone saw it too.
If someone did a movie about the Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team, what actress would play the role of you?
Gabrielle Union. She is fun. Seeing her movies, she seems down to earth and fun.
If I could be a super hero, I would be…
I would be Storm from X-Men. Storm — Mistress of the Elements. I love X-Men and the fact that you could control the weather would be really cool.