Interview with Senior Izzy North-Greene, Bethel University Women’s Volley Ball Media Day 2022

Sep 2, 2022 | Interviews, Videos | 0 comments

Video Transcript

Paul Condry
Welcome back here to Bethel University, Women’s Volleyball Media Day. I’m Paul Khoury, the longtime voice of the pious. Glad that you could stop by and join us here today or been blessed to be able to visit with some of the girls that make up the 2223 women’s volleyball team as well as head coach Katie Weeks. Now we’re joined here by first team all-American, Izzy North Green.

Well, I think that’s probably the biggest change between last year and this year. You got married?

Izzy North-Greene
I did.

PC
That’s an exciting time. So give us some of the differences then. Being a single student athlete that a married student athlete that’s happened here on this campus before. But kind of give us an idea what’s changed in that regard other than the obvious?

IN-G
I feel like it’s not a whole lot of change besides the fact that I wear rings now. And but yeah, I mean, the day to say stuff, practice, it’s all the same. Team dynamics the same. Some of the girls like to make jokes with me about it and they’re like, You’re so mature now, you’re married, but we just goof around.

PC
All right. So the trip to the to Central America, South America, it was everybody I’ve talked to, I’ve talked to Hannah and I’ve talked to Madison Beaver, talked to Katie. And everybody has told me thus far—it was a rich, rich time for them from a bonding standpoint, spiritual growth. So how does how does Izzy feel about this?

IN-G
It was honestly amazing. Like I had never been on a mission trip out of the country like that before… And so that was like super eye opening. And I coach and I would talk about the other day like it was just a really great way to start off our season and just like have that like vulnerable bonding time where like it was 24 seven—and it was a lot. And I mean we were out doing stuff and playing volleyball and being with kids.

And so you get like physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and then you just like lean on each other even more. And it was just really good to be able to start off the season like that.

PC
Okay, so last year when we were having Media Day, we were talking about the things we’re doing. You’re coming off a national championship?

IN-G
Mm Hmm.

This year. And I think maybe Katie said it best. We laid an egg in the postseason. And I know that your expectations, after winning a championship a year ago… or this year, that wasn’t the case.

This past year, it wasn’t the case. So how is your mindset changed, Izzy, from a year ago coming into this year after the disappointment. I know for me I’d be really hungry and I know you’re about as competitive as an athlete as anybody that’s in this building.

IN-G
Yeah. I mean, it definitely was not the season that we were hoping for last year—

PC
But you still won 129, matches—

IN-G
Yes, we did—

PC
Let’s go on record, saying that—

IN-G
We did. But I mean, this year just coming in like we know that we’re out for blood and that like we’re going to have to work ten times harder than anybody else because I mean, we say it in practice all the time. We want that red banner. We want to put our names up there and we want to be recognized.

We want to represent Bethel volleyball as like the best of the best. And so we know it’s blood, sweat and tears.

PC
Okay, first team all-American. Tell us about what that was like when you got the notification. There’s not been a lot of first team, all Americans in this institution. So tell me about what it’s like to be a first team NAIA all-American.

IN-G
Honestly, it just makes me want to work harder because, I mean, obviously this was like a huge accomplishment.

And I’m like very grateful that I got it. But, you know, this isn’t just like me, like this comes from my team as well. And like, volleyball is definitely not an individual sport whatsoever. You cannot do it all by yourself. So getting that and getting that notification and getting that text from coach and hearing about all this, it was like it was kind of like unreal for a little bit because I’d been I’d wanted it so bad and I was working so hard for it. And then when I finally got it, I was like, All right, what’s next?

What else can we work for?

PC
If you look at the front line between if it’s if it’s Beaver-Payne and North-Green up front, we’re talking now 94, 184 and 147 blocks, respectively. This is one of the best blocking teams in the United States. Can—Can you speak to how well you guys collectively as a unit, work together?

IN-G
One of the things that we talk about is just communication, like when we’re going out to block our pins are talking to our middles, our middles are talking to our pins. It’s constantly like we’re trying to be like one unit as we go up. So it’s not, you know, two people, four sets of hands. It’s one person, one wall.

PC
When you look at the last year, you were banged up a little bit with your shoulder and you kind of had to work through that. And and but you still played you still didn’t want to sit. You could tell that you were just zeroed in and you had that monster mentality that I wasn’t nothing wasn’t going to be denied.

So having played through pain, now that you’re healthy in a situation where you’re at right now, you have to be pretty precautious about taking care of yourself, making sure those kind of things don’t happen again. So you’re at your maximum best moving forward with the season. Give us an idea how your routine has changed. Maybe you’re stretching, maybe you’re doing things you’re lifting is a little different.

IN-G
Mm hmm. Yeah, I my lifting is definitely changed. My mindset on lifting is change. I lift to prepare my body and shake my body so I don’t have those injuries throughout the season and those things that, you know, hold me back definitely daily. Working with our athletic trainers who have been super helpful and great with just like, hey, like this is like kind of like nagging at me and they’re like, All right, let’s get on top of it right away.

Definitely. Obviously, eating is a is a big deal. Trying to eat healthier is that I’m putting like those good nutrients back in my body.

 

PC
All right. So when you’re one of the top big girls in this league as well as on this team, you look at Hannah and Mikayla and Shaya and some of the other girls that are always looking up to you and talk about taking on a new level of leadership. From your standpoint, people already know that you’re one of the most dynamic, physical players.

But now it’s an opportunity for you to take your game to a whole another level from a leadership standpoint, not only on and off the floor, but maybe even spiritually. Are you ready for that role?

IN-G
I am. I have been talking a lot with my coaches about this and how I have really always struggled leading vocally. When I came in as a freshman, it was very hard for me to learn how to adjust to that. But once I did, it was, you know, I’m doing this for my team. I’m leading with my words, but also my actions because my actions will speak louder than my words.

And so I’m just really excited to keep continuing to do that and be the best leader for my team.

PC
When I’m broadcasting the home games here at Bethel University, I’m always try to take the time to visit with the opponent’s coach and every opponent’s coach that I sit down and talk to. I can tell you this without question. Somebody along the way, almost every coach to a person will say, somehow, someway, we got to figure out how to put a body on this he north and now I mean that’s how when you’re when you’re a smart person when that’s when you’re there everybody else’s game plan to stay away from that’s a that’s that’s a wonderful compliment but it’s also there’s some pressure involved.

IN-G
Oh, yeah.

PC
So talk about being the mark gal, if you will, of this team.

IN-G
Yeah, it’s definitely some pressure because then you know that they’re probably not going to put not one, not two, but definitely three blocks up on you as much as possible. So then I have to work harder on being loud or being vocal for my sisters, saying behind them, being able to get a good swing, swing around that block, cut as hard as I can.

It’s definitely it’s a blessing and a curse, I would say.

PC
I would think that it would be you’re the quarterbacks on this team are only as good as is the person who’s finishing them off. So we will speak to the fact that you got Rachel and Caroline Paige, Jackie, you know, Hannah, obviously on this team, those are the gals they’re going to be getting you in a position where you can make successful plays.

Can you speak to their maturation and their development and how much better they are getting you the ball so you can make those big power plays?

IN-G
Yeah, I think that they’re doing a great job, especially Rachel Vandal has done an amazing job of stepping up and being a huge leader on this team vocally and with her actions. And she honestly has just been so dominant in practice and being relentless, like going after balls that people wouldn’t think she would go after and she’s just throwing herself everywhere.

So that’s been really great to see. And I can see that a bunch of the other girls are following after her. And so she’s just kind of like picking up the whole defense with her.

PC
Okay. We’ve talked with everybody so far here on Media Day about what it’s like playing in one of the best conferences in the country. You can’t take any matches off. And I know we saw this team a couple of times last year where they got out to a21 lead and then somehow you let the other team back in the match.

And the next thing you know, now you’re here fighting for your life just to get out of there with a win. Yeah. So I think the important thing is, is to win once you get that to a lead is to finish them, you got to have that killer instinct. So how can you do a better job of getting that point where you got that killer instinct?

So if you got a chance to knock them out in three, you can knock them out.

IN-G
Yeah, yeah. Definitely. Just we always say on a team, we always say many games. So many games of five, ten, 15, so on to 25. And we just take it point at a time. We celebrate each point. If a team scores a point where the first one to bounce back and get a first ball, kill, we do drills and practice where we really focus on first ball kills so that we aren’t letting those teams creep in and and get in so that we don’t have that where we win two sets and then we down and set and then we’re having to fight for it.

We really try to jump on them fast.

PC
Okay, let’s wrap it up by talking about the Crossroads League and as as as you look at all the different teams in there, obviously, Marion was the team that won the postseason tournament title and a really close match against Indiana Wesleyan. And of course, they won the conference regular season championship as well, too. So obviously they’re the team to beat despite the fact that they had a coaching change.

They have a talented group and then you throw in the Indiana Wesleyan in there, Mount Vernon Taylor. And of course, the powers are right there in the mix, not taking anything away from anybody else. But it’s a brutal league where you have to have your A-game. So give us an idea. As you look at the landscape of the league, where are some of the toughest places to play and who are you looking forward to playing the most?

 

IN-G
I would say I would. Marion are definitely the toughest places to play there. Always there are big powerhouse and they’re always the teams that you want to go after. But I love playing them. I love the competition between them. I love going to Marion. That’s always a super fun game. Yeah, I’m just excited to continue to strive after those teams.

PC
Once again, we’re glad that you can join us here. Bethel University Women’s Volleyball Media Day First team all-American, Izzy North Green. We’ll be back with more of pilots volleyball right after this.

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