Hoyas Senior Captain Tory Rezin Reaches Top of Record Books in Digs
Nov. 4, 2011
WASHINGTON - Whenever anyone breaks a record of any sort, the attention surrounding the moments leading up to the moment are resounding, because the time could occur at the snap of a finger. If a record is broken, the postgame celebration is jubilant as everyone revels in the moment. When a record is broken in a difficult match, the celebration contains an added dimension of exuberance. However, none of those were displayed after a much-earned road win.
On Friday, October 28, senior captain libero Tory Rezin (Morris, Ill./Morris) and the Hoyas volleyball team went to Orange, N.J. to take on the Seton Hall Pirates, who went into the match 16 digs shy of Simone Kollmann's record of 1,575 digs established in 1992. Earlier in the season, when Rezin was asked about being on pace to break the record, she was more than humble about eventually earning the distinction about being atop the leader board by the end of the season.
"My first priority is the team and where we end up at the end of the season," Rezin said back in September. "If I play hard, I achieve the record. I don't go through pregame and calculate how many digs I need per game to stay on track. While it's on the back of my mind from time to time, it's not in the forefront because my focus is the team and to lead the team the entire time."
Rezin garnered 19 digs against the Pirates, putting her at the official top of the record books at 1,578. She attained another 12 digs Sunday afternoon against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a five-set win, similar to the match played Friday night. Her season total is 356, and her career thus far is 1,590 with another three games left in regular season play.
"Tory has come in and done a phenomenal job for us since day one," Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. "It's been a great experience watching her grow in her role on this team, watch her grow as a player, watch her earn the respect of her teammates, and I'm very, very happy that Tory broke this record that's been in place for all of these years.
"It's a true testament to her putting the program before herself every step of the way. It's something that's a learned thing for her, how everyone wants to enjoy the college environment and figure out a strategy for balancing it all, and Tory did a great job of figuring out when it's volleyball time, when it's school time, and when it's fun time. That balance has allowed her to have the success she has. I'm very proud of her accomplishment."
Williams continued to extol Rezin and her team for their commitment to the gym and wanting to put forth the necessary work to thrive on and off the court. Her caveat is that she doesn't need to impose her words and philosophies to help surge the players to attaining personal greatness.
"I've come into work and I've gone to work with the goal with our coaching staffs to make sure our team gets better each step of the way, but that doesn't happen unless you have players that will put in the work each step of the way. As much as I would like to take credit and say, `I did this,' I didn't do this; the players did this.
"Tory breaking the record is because she is in the gym working hard every single day and earning the trust of her teammates to dig balls around her. Ashley getting as close as she is (to the assists record) is a testament to her talent level and ability to connect with the team. We create the environment, but they need to take advantage of that environment we create. I can't push or pull them in that direction; they need to take the initiative upon themselves, and they have. That's why Tory has broken this record, why Ashley is on pace, and why the team is as successful as it is, because each one of these players have bought in and taken it upon themselves to push themselves and their teammates to greatness."
GUHoyas.com: So the record is finally yours, and is done and over with. Last time we spoke you said the record is nice but isn't the focus. When Arlisa told you Friday that it was yours, how did you feel?
Tory: I was pretty excited. I mean, the win against Seton Hall was awesome so hearing that I broke the record was just another good thing to hear. Really excited!
GUHoyas.com: I asked the freshmen the other day about them coming to Georgetown and what it'd be like to play under Coach Williams and an experienced squad, but getting as much playing time as they have. During your freshman year, did you expect to see as much time as you did?
Tory: I kind of knew I was going to get a lot of playing time just because the team did not have a "specialized libero", haha.
GUHoyas.com: Have you seen an evolution of the freshmen throughout the season, becoming more vocally involved and making their presence on the court known? Also, has their confidence in themselves improved to where they provide a better effort on the court, or have they played at a consistently maximum level all season?
Tory: The girls have definitely become more vocal as the season progressed. They became more confident with the rest of us, which made them more willing to speak up in rough situations. I am really happy with how the freshmen have been playing, with intensity and aggressiveness. We wouldn't be where we are today without those girls.
GUHoyas.com: There are certain rotations where it's you, Ashley, Dani, Alex, Kieley and MacKenzie. From an outside perspective, without knocking the freshmen one would think "this is crazy. Four freshmen and two seniors on the court at the same time is crazy." How much of a testament is that to Coach Williams's faith in her squad, and how thrilled are you about their production throughout the season?
Tory: It is hard having such a young team and what not. We do a good job of not letting age affect us and how we play. You are either good or you're not...and our freshmen are good!
GUHoyas.com: Three games left in the season, and for that matter your senior season. As Senior Night approaches and is becoming more of a reality, is it still a bittersweet feeling?
Tory: Definitely a bittersweet feeling. It hasn't hit me yet that I will only be playing 3 more games in the collegiate career but I'm sure it will be here soon. I'm definitely going to miss the team and the commitment of being a part of a team. It has been a LONG ride and honestly can't believe the end is so close.
GUHoyas.com: You travel to South Florida this Friday. What're your thoughts on the team that is another obstacle to reaching Milwaukee in a few weeks?
Tory: We need to win this game to secure a spot in Milwaukee. This is going to be a huge game for us, but I am trying to not look at it like that. I want us to start with that aggressive mindset and play with a purpose. If we play low-error/consistent volleyball, we will do fine.
GUHoyas.com: Coach said she's seen a transformation of you throughout your four years, starting as a freshman on the Hilltop to a senior captain who's been able to hone her skills and find the perfect balance between academics, athletics, and a social life, which has helped to lead you to not only attaining the record but also earning the respect of the players around you. Would you say that you have felt the maturation process throughout your four years?
Tory: I definitely feel like I have changed within the four years I have been here. The biggest change is definitely communication with the coaches and other players.
GUHoyas.com: The record was in place since 1992. It took 19 seasons for someone to crack the threshold and overtake the number, which was 1,575 digs. Coming into the program, what were your personal expectations along with how you would help contribute to the team when it was your time?
Tory: I just wanted to be extremely outspoken and hardworking right from the start. I wasn't afraid at all to speak my mind freshman year which I think a lot of the older girls respected. My goal was to be that freshman class that brings the team to the BIG EAST. Even though it didn't happen we still accomplished great things including a MUCH better record, haha.
GUHoyas.com: Now that the record is officially behind you and there's still a few games left to play, how does it feel to walk away from Georgetown volleyball with your name in the record books in two places (season category AND all time)?
Tory: Feels awesome. I put in a lot of hard work over the past 4 years and it's nice to know that work paid off.
GUHoyas.com: Do your parents know that it's yours and if so, what were their emotions? If not, how do you plan on telling them?
Tory: My parents knew I was close to breaking the record and actually were planning to fly out for Rutgers (when I thought I would break it). Breaking the record at Seton Hall though, they didn't get to make it out. They are happy for me and proud.
GUHoyas.com: Ashley is next in line to break a record. If she follows a certain pace, she'll break it. Since you two came in together your freshman year and have been with each other since the beginning, how well have you two bonded over your four years under Arlisa and think about how it was numbers three and four from the start?
Tory: Ashley and I have put in a TON of work since freshman year. WE both came from extremely competitive clubs that won National titles, so it was easy for us to bond over the hardworking volleyball culture.
GUHoyas.com: How proud are you of her because she was here with you from the start, and how proud are you of the team that you've led for two seasons in a row, and has a significant chance of playing in the BIG EAST tournament in a few weeks?
Tory: Breaking records that have been set for years is not an easy thing to do let me tell ya. It takes a ton of work, years or work, to be able to break any sport related record. Ashley has put in a lot of work this season and being the next to break a school record is a huge accomplishment. I'm so proud of this team coming back from a somewhat rocky first part of the season. We have made some huge changes in our play over the past couple weeks and the chemistry has never been better.
GUHoyas.com: After this season, what's the next move?
Tory: Hopefully working in DC or New York!