In the first of a three-part series, LSUsports.net will catch up with former LSU volleyball players who are currently playing professionally overseas, as they share their experiences playing of playing abroad and what they remember most about their LSU days.
Our first entry comes from Marina Skender, who is currently playing in Finland. Skender, the 2009 AVCA honorable mention All-American and 2005 SEC Freshman of the Year has been playing professionally for four years after graduating in 2010 with 1,504 career kills at LSU.
Pro Team: HPK NAISET OY
City, Country: Hmeenlinna, Finland
"I have been playing professionally for 4 years now. Playing on this level includes a lot of time preparing for the game. A lot of hours working with the team and working on individual things to be prepared and to be better every game in the season. Some of your days will also consist of working with the club, media and fans.
There is a lot of your time you have to put in to be successful. I have nothing but positive experiences playing professionally. Right now we are in the playoffs, which is the most important time of the season. You work and prepare the whole season to be good strong team at this point of the year. The schedule is tight and you have to be focused and play hard every game. But at the end it is all worth it because there is no better feeling than doing the job you love!
Before that I was at LSU for 5 years. I came with some personal expectations but mostly didn't know what I should expect. However LSU has provided me with nothing but positivity and they gave me so much more than my expectations ever were.
The way the coaches were towards the players, they were our leaders and role models. They taught us how to deal with the wins and losses as a team, how to be a part of the team and how to solve problems together. The program prepared me to be competitive and play in different settings with various players, but most importantly, to be a team player and know how much to give to the team without being selfish.
All are things you need if you want to play professionally. I'm still in contact with some of my teammates and coaches and it’s a great period of my life that stays with me forever. Every day I am proud to be a Tiger!