It may seem difficult to imagine at first, what with a Pac-12 title, an NCAA Championship and an AVP final under her belt in the span of just a few weeks, but yes, Sarah Sponcil does struggle from time to time.

Take Spanish, for example.

“I have not taken it since I was in fifth grade,” she said on SANDCAST: Beach volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “A lot of people take Spanish in high school, so it was elementary Spanish and I was like ‘Ok, we’re chillin’ with the colors and the weather and all that stuff and the lady is like ‘Ok so the next class we’re going to be speaking in full Spanish. And I was like ‘Wait, what? What did I sign up for? Is there a level below this?’ So that’s been kind of a struggle.”

But on the court? It may take some digging to find a soft spot in Sponcil’s game. Partnered with Lauren Fendrick for the AVP’s season-opener in Austin, Sponcil won her first four career AVP main draw matches in straight sets, setting up a final against April Ross and Alix Klineman.

“I think I just had that mentality – people are going to be stronger, faster,” Sponcil said. “I think I just tried to put the pressure on, trying to stay aggressive. I think a lot of people go to shots if they get blocked, they kind of just do that. I felt like I was full force. I just want to swing, if I get blocked, I’ll just work around.”

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