In her four-year career as an Aggie, senior Ashley Curry has been with the program through thick and thin.
Her years of hard work culminated in a season that was more than she could’ve ever expected as the Aggies claimed the regular-season Big West Conference title.
Before traveling to the Big West Tournament, Curry sat down to discuss her career as an Aggie, her net-cutting experience and her team’s chances in this weekend down in Anaheim.
What made you choose to play for UC Davis?
When I came for my official visit and I met the team and the coaches, it just felt like a family. That’s really what I was looking for. I’m really close to my family back home so I wanted a separate family down here.
Coach Sandy Simpson has said that he’s glad you and fellow senior Haylee Donaghe had the “blind faith” to come to Davis during those transition years. Is that how you saw things?
Not really. I didn’t see it as blind faith. I know that going to the postseason is a big part of it and that we couldn’t do that during the transition years. Now that I think about it, maybe it is blind faith. You just know that you’re going to do great things with the team that you’re on and no matter what you actually achieve, you’re going to have good goals and hopefully get them. I’m definitely glad we did.
What is your favorite moment of your career?
It was definitely when we cut down the nets. That’s pretty hard to beat.
I noticed that when it was your turn to cut down the nets, you seemed hesitant. What was up with that?
They called me up at the beginning and when I started climbing up the ladder, my coach said he wanted me to go near the end [laughs]. They called me back down so when they called me again at the end I was just making sure that it was actually my turn. I didn’t want to take somebody else’s piece of the net. At the end they told me to take two pieces.
Wow, that’s pretty structured for net-cutting. Don’t you think?
Yeah, they had it all planned out.
What does getting a championship in your last year mean to you?
I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. It’s definitely exciting and it’s a great way to end my career here. It’s obviously not over yet but it’s a pretty nice cap.
Earlier you said that you came to UC Davis because of the family atmosphere. Is that feeling even stronger this year?
It is definitely stronger this year, especially because it’s my last year. I’m thinking, “I’m not going to see these people anymore.” I’ve really tried to make more of a connection because of that. So, all of us on the team are pretty close. Some of us have stronger bonds than others but it’s definitely a family and we’re all there for each other. That’s really important to me.
Are you excited to go to Anaheim for the Big West Tournament this weekend?
Oh my goodness yes. I think in the past I’ve overlooked the postseason. Last year it was just one game and that was it. We didn’t really get that experience that I’ve been craving so this is going to be really exciting.
You went to Anaheim two years ago when your team played in the championship game. How was that experience?
It was good. I was coming back from an injury that year so I just don’t think I realized how neat it was and how great of an opportunity it was. That’s something that I’m really excited to do this year. I’m going to enjoy it all this time.
What do you expect for your team this weekend?
I expect the same things I’ve expected all year – to give our best effort and to do the best that we can. There’s a lot of talent on this team. I think that we can go really far if we do the best that we can.
Being the regular season champs, there is a target on your back heading into the tournament. What are you guys going to do to be successful?
We’re just going to do the same old thing. We like to make teams react to us. With the kind of system we run, we’re in people’s faces a lot making them do what we want rather than the other way around. We’re not going to change anything.
Do you have any regrets from your time at UC Davis?
I wish that I’d seen before what I’m seeing now. I wish that I looked at every game and enjoyed every little moment because it goes by so fast. That’s maybe one thing that I would regret – not enjoying all the little moments.
Along the same lines, are you satisfied with your career as an Aggie?
I’m definitely happy to be a part of a championship team. When I decided to come here, a title wasn’t really on my list of goals. I always talk about achieving goals but that wasn’t high on my list. But now I’m definitely glad that it happened.
Since you’re planning on going to Humboldt State to get your teaching credential next year, if the Aggies play the Lumberjacks, what colors will you be wearing in the stands?
I would definitely be wearing blue and gold.
Finally, how do you think the rest of the conference stacks up against you guys in the upcoming tournament?
If we’re on our game and playing like we can, there’s no hope for anybody else.
MARK LING can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.