Brianna Eskola is only 19 digs away from becoming the ACC's all-time leader. The senior has helped the Tar Heels reach the top of the standings with only two games remaining. She took time to talk with theACC.com about her passion for volleyball and getting to Chapel Hill.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
Favorite Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite Pregame Music: Yellow Card
Favorite Pregame Meal: 411
Favorite Place on Campus: Franklin Street
I have a four-year-old niece.
When and how did you start playing volleyball?
I started playing club volleyball in fourth grade. A friend of my dad's recommended it because his daughter was playing too. I went in and really didn't know anything. It just kind of happened.
Did you play any other sports in high school? What made you choose volleyball?
I played softball. I really dove into (volleyball) more. I was more passionate about it. If I was having a bad day, I could go in to the gym with volleyball and make it all better. I just love the sport so much.
Did you play any club volleyball growing up?
I played at a club called "Side out" from fourth grade until eighth grade. Then I played Minnesota One (M1) from 15th year until 18th year when I came to college. We traveled around the country with M1.
Why did you choose North Carolina?
I first started coming to camp here when I was in seventh grade because my 13th year coach (Sarah Ward) played here. I came down to camp here and kept coming back year after year. It felt like a second home to me. I love the academics, the atmosphere, the great sports program. It has the total package.
How was the transition from Minnesota to North Carolina?
I have family (in the South), so I'm used to the Southern culture. And when you're on a team, you kind of get thrown in with a new family. You always have someone to talk to.
What do you do when you're not playing volleyball?
A lot of studying. This year I'll be coaching at the Triangle Volleyball Club. I like to go to different sports events.
What do you want to do after college?
Right now, I'm going to take a year off. Then I'm going to either grad school or med school.
Who is your most influential role model?
Both of my parents. My dad played college baseball and a year of football. He was very in to athletics and pushed me to get involved. My mom has only missed six matches of my college career. She's always been a big supporter. They've always been there to talk me through things and give an example of what the right thing is.
What is your most memorable moment in your athletic career?
That was this year, when we beat Minnesota at Minnesota. They were ranked eighth. It was awesome because I had a bunch of friends there and it was at home.
What is the best advice you have ever received from a coach?
The best advice is to be confident. If something bad happens, don't worry about it; move on to the next play. Don't ever stop being resilient.
What are your team's goals as you near the end of the season?
Right now it is to win the conference and make the NCAA Tournament.
How did it feel to earn team MVP honors last year and has that affected you this season?
It was big for my determination entering the year. It gave me confidence. The whole team wanted to do well this year and the whole senior class wanted to get back to the tournament. It was a big confidence builder.
Eskola and the Tar Heels return to action on Friday night (11/21) when they face Florida State at 7 p.m. in Chapel Hill.