RICHMOND, Va. – Tori Baldwin has garnered another accolade, being named the Virginia Lottery Student-Athlete of the Week. Baldwin was one of two VCU players to earn Atlantic-10 Conference Player of the Week honors on Monday. She registered six blocks and four kills on eight swings in the Rams' 3-0 win over Davidson on Saturday.
"It was a crucial game for us to beat them and stay in top in the A-10 standings, said the middle blocker. "Everyone played really well. Great passing, great sets, and defensively we did a good job. I can always get better though. Overall, it was a team win. No single player won it for us."
She earned Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors, while fellow freshman Sahbria McLetchie took home the Offensive award. "I found out at practice. It was a surprise. It's an honor. I was so excited. I never thought I would get recognition as a defensive player. Just to share this award with a teammate and fellow freshman is cool."
Winners of three-straight, Baldwin feels confident about where VCU's program is headed, "Our record might not show how good we are, but it shows how good we can get. We beat the number one team in the conference at Saint Louis. We shocked the A-10 with that win. Games like that show just how good we can be. I honestly believe that if we avoid those little hiccups in the road we'll make it to the championship. Overall, we keep improving as a team. We keep improving our odds. It's awesome."
On Getting Early On-Court Experience: "I wouldn't have it any other way. Playing your freshman year is probably the hardest and most exciting thing. Coming in, I didn't expect to play, but I want to work hard to be out on the court and prove that I deserve to be here."
Favorite Thing About Playing at VCU: "Playing with the girls. I couldn't imagine playing with anyone else. We just have these little moments on the court. For instance, winning at SLU. I don't think I've ever had that experience of beating a team before."
Transition to College: "Good and bad. I won't say it's been amazing because that would be a lie. We all have those moments where we go, 'Oh my, I just want to go home. I want some fresh homemade meals. I'm tired of eating out.' It's crazy. My mom used to do my laundry. I didn't know how to do my laundry coming in. At the same time, just knowing you have this whole big support system behind you has definitely been helpful. It was hard, but it's been relieving as well."
Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas: "Christmas! I'm listening to Christmas music right now. It's my favorite holiday. I like Thanksgiving. Giving thanks, yes, but I love my snowman."
Dream Travel Destination: "Paris. Just going somewhere new. That's what is so cool about being on a team. We get to go to all these places. I had never been to New York before and we were just there recently."
Favorite School Subject Growing Up: "History. My mom always liked history. We would always watch history shows together so I always liked it. That or English, I hated math."
If You Won The Lottery: "I would take care of my family and then I don't know. Family first and then I'd go to Paris."
On Being The Evil Twin: "I have a twin. She's much more nicer than I am. Overall though, she doesn't have an athletic bone in her body. She cannot do anything. She tried out for the basketball team, and the poor girl, they asked her to be the manager. Having three sisters is fun. I can always wear their clothes. I wish I had a brother, but it's fun."
How You Spend Your Free-time: "Probably hanging out with my friends and watching Netflix. One Tree Hill all night."
Rap Skills: "We have the craziest bus rides. Think we were on the bus somewhere and I was posting rhyming captions on Instagram. I told Indigo she should be my manager and a name kind of just popped up, Poetic LT. They call my 'LT', because we have two Tori's on the team so I'm 'little Tori'. Ever since then, it's just gotten bigger and bigger. I tell everyone I can rap and freestyle. I really can't, I'm bad."
To book Baldwin for a rap gig, you'll have to contact teammate and manager Indigo Thompson. In the meantime, you can catch her and the VCU volleyball team when they return home on November 11th. The team is back in action this Friday, as they take on Duquesne in Pittsburgh.