Matador Minute with Women's Basketball Sophomore Forward Violet Alama

Nov. 4, 2010

How does it feel to start off the season at home? What are your thoughts going into the home opener against Pepperdine?
I think that to have a successful season we need to show our fans that we are a new team this year. By playing well at home, especially against a good team like Pepperdine, it should send a message.

What are you looking to improve on for this season, individually and as a team?
Individually I would like to be more of an offensive threat and be able to finish. If I am more of an offensive threat, then it makes my teammates more open for shots. As a team, I think we need to work on our defense. We gave up a lot of points last year and if we defend well we should come out with wins.

What has it been like preparing for the season with Coach Flowers and the staff? How has the team adjusted from last season to now?
I think the most important thing is to buy into what Coach and the others are saying and work hard at everything. It has been rough and a struggle to adjust, but if we continue on this path we should be good this year.

With your training in the offseason, how has the trainer, Sarah Lyons, helped the team develop?
Sarah plays a bigger role than just an athletic trainer. A lot of us go to her for advice on other things and she keeps us in check. She is very understanding about our bodies and takes good care of us.

Your 10 offensive boards against Pacific rank second most in the school's Division I history for a single game. How did it feel to put your name in the books as a freshman?
I am setting the bar for myself and I have high expectations and so do my coaches. I would like to continue to do what I am good at and improve my game. Maybe I can get to the top of the list.

What is your mindset going into the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic and playing back on the islands?
For me, it is a lot of pressure. Basically everyone, family and friends, are going to be there. I don't want to disappoint them and I want to show all of the hard work I have put in to get to this place.

What is it like having fellow Hawaiians Janelle Nomura and Analee Viena-Lota on the team?
It makes it a lot more comfortable. Being from Hawaii is like being from another country and having people that you can relate with makes things a lot easier.

After coming back from Hawaii, CSUN hosts the Holiday Inn Woodland Hills Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament. As the host, how does the preparation and intensity of each game change?
Its not that much different. It is important to do well in our own tournament but I feel that every game on our schedule is just as important as every other.

Looking forward to the Big West season, how do you feel the Matadors will perform compared to the rest of the league?
I think that if we do what we are supposed to do and work hard every day, I feel we have the talent to come out on top of the Big West.