inside.hokiesports.com 29 Ben Martino Men’s Soccer Q: When you look back on your first season at Virginia Tech, how would you describe the experience? BM: Looking back on my first season at Virginia Tech, I have no other words to describe it than surreal. I was, and continue to be, extremely grateful for the opportunity to step onto Thompson Field and be embraced by my teammates and our amazing supporters. I am very fortunate to call Blacksburg home and all focus is on the season ahead. Q: What was your favorite part of your rookie campaign? BM: Although it’s difficult to choose just one specific memory from such a special season, our 2-1 OT victory over UVA in our home opener really stands out to me as one of my favorite moments in a Virginia Tech jersey. Playing my first home game in front of thousands of fans and helping my team defeat our biggest rival was definitely a memory that will stick with me for a long time. Q: What expectations and goals do you have for your second season? BM: As a whole, I thought we achieved most of what we set out to do in our 2021 season, but I think I speak for everyone in the program when I say we were left unsatisfied by our Round of 32 exit in the NCAA Tournament. The standard for our team is set very high and we need to be striving for Elite 8, Final Four and championship caliber seasons, and I believe we have all the tools this season to go very far. In addition to making further runs in the NCAA Tournament and ACC Tournament, another big piece for next season is keeping clean sheets, especially in ACC games and at home. Q: What have you been doing this summer? BM: Most of the summer I played a few games with the Ocean City Nor’easters and I trained with the Philadelphia Union, my old club. Besides that, I spent some time with my family in Pittsburgh before coming back to school. INSIDE THE HUDDLEFeaturing Ben Martino and Brie Postema postema martino brie postema volleyball Q: Heading into your junior season with Virginia Tech Volleyball, what are you most looking forward to? BP: Going into my junior season, I am most looking forward to building relationships with new teammates and working towards rebuilding our program. We have many new players this season, and I am excited to see us all work hard striving towards the same goal. We have put in a lot of work this summer in the weight room and in the gym, and it will be awesome to see the impact it has on the court. I am also excited to see how the Lord is faithful during this semester and our season. He is moving and working through this team, and I can’t wait to witness what He is able to do this year. Q: How would you describe the 2022 squad? BP: I would describe the 2022 squad as hard working, determined, and eager to win. Throughout the summer, our players have been working hard most mornings whether it is in the weight room or in the gym, and I cannot wait to see the impact that this hard work will have on our play. Notably, our freshmen are a strong group and are ready to contribute this season. Additionally, after a tough season last year, it is evident in the locker room that we are all determined and eager to develop a winning culture both off the court and on it. Q: What have you been up to this summer? BP: At the beginning of the summer, I was able to head home and enjoy some time with my family. During this time, we were able to go on an amazing trip to Canada where we were able to hike around the Canadian Rockies and explore Banff and Jasper. Since coming back to Blacksburg, I have been training with our team; we lift 5 days a week and have open gyms nearly every day. I have also been helping work volleyball camps during the week. Q: What does it mean to you to be a Hokie? BP: To me, being a Hokie means being part of a family away from home. When I was getting recruited, the phrase that stuck out to me was “This is Home.” I thought it was a really cool saying, but the true meaning of it did not hit me until I was able to step on campus and be a part of the community here. Being surrounded by so many great people whether it was on or off the volleyball court has allowed me to find my new home in Blacksburg. Therefore, when I think about what it means to be a Hokie, it means being able to be a part of the Virginia Tech community and truly feeling that Blacksburg is home.