Whitman, an East Ridge senior outside hitter, plays volleyball nearly year-round between high school and club teams. Her Northern Lights squad recently competed in the 2014 girls’ junior national championships in Minneapolis.

 

Why do you go by your middle name instead of your first? This is super embarrassing. My mom wanted my name to be Claire, but she was all paranoid that if my first name was Claire and my middle name was Olivia then I would get made fun of in school because my initials would end up spelling out “cow.”

 

Do you burn out playing so much volleyball? It’s more just a part of my lifestyle, pretty much. It’s like I go to school, I go to volleyball, eat, sleep. I don’t consider it a job, more something I love because I want to play in college. So that’s what I work for every day.

 

How’s playing at nationals? It’s amazing, I love it. … This year all of our teams got to go because it was in Minneapolis. So it was like a really big, once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.

 

Expectations for your senior season? I think I have a big expectation for our team to make it to state this year. We lost, like, five seniors, but it wasn’t like a huge loss or anything, and I think that our team has all the potential to make it.

 

What’s a bucket list item for your last year of high school? I want to have the most memorable senior prank ever with all of my best friends because we haven’t had any awesome, super senior pranks. … We want to drive Barbie jeeps through our school. It’s what we’ve always wanted to do. So I hope we get to do that.