Cavalier Corner

April 2017

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CAVALIER CORNER: How do you view your role with the Cavaliers? VITTESE: "My role is being a pivotal player, making sure to play defense and contribute to the attack as well. … I'd say that my role is like a point guard in basketball. "We have to be able to make quick decisions, because the center of the field is the most dangerous. We have to be quick with what we are doing, pre-scan, know where we are going and create opportunities, though we are not always scoring." CAVALIER CORNER: Your sisters Michelle (2008-12) and Carissa (2010-13) paved the way for you at UVA. What's it like to be able to share that experience? VITTESE: "The one thing I learned from both of them was to just 'give it my all' all of the time. I learned most of my skills from them. I was never able to play with them at the high school or college level, which was very disappointing. "I think for me, watching them play helped me learn a lot. … We don't get to play together at home, either, because we don't have a field that we can access like our turf here. Whenever I go out to [the U.S. National Team's training center in Lancaster, Pa.], I try to play with Michelle and Carissa, but they have been fortunate enough to actually play together." CAVALIER CORNER: Who are the people in your sports and academic life who inspired you — and in what ways? VITTESE: "My parents are two of my main supporters. My dad, more than my mom, had me get involved in sports. I think he knew that we were capable of ac- complishing so much. He initially had us involved in inline hockey, which then led us to playing field hockey. "Both of my parents put so much on the line and sacrificed so much for us to be involved in sports. I think it really paid off, but I also want to do as much as possible because they put so much on the line for me." CAVALIER CORNER: Are you looking forward to the post-grad pos- sibilities of playing for the USA National Team and in the Olympics like Michelle is doing now? VITTESE: "Playing for the Junior National Team has really helped me develop the game that I have brought to UVA field hockey. I haven't really thought about playing at the next level, about joining the Senior National Team with the possibility of playing in World Cups and the Olympics. "I want to finish school first. Playing with both of my sis- ters would be something that I would love to do, but I really haven't thought about it much yet." CAVALIER CORNER: What are your studies, and where will they take you when you leave UVA? VITTESE: "I am majoring in anthropology. Since I still have an entire year and a half before I graduate, I really haven't thought much about what I want to do. I really want to focus on my final three semesters and to continue to enjoy my time here on Grounds. "I truly love being a student-athlete at the University of Virginia and feel so blessed to still have one final sea- son left. I am going to relish every minute of it." — Jerry Reid FIVE QUESTIONS THIRD-YEAR FIELD HOCKEY PLAYER TARA VITTESE Vittese was named the 2016 Longstreth/ NFHCA National Player of the Year for the second straight season after notching 15 goals and 11 assists for the Cavaliers. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA 8 ◆ CAVALIER CORNER

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