Fresh off a bronze medal with the Canadian national team, senior Rebecca Quinn returned to campus Friday and stepped back into game action for the Blue Devils Sunday evening. After the game, The Chronicle's Jack Dolgin and other media members chatted with Quinn about her experience and rejoining her Duke teammates.
Question: You’ve spent two semesters not at Duke. It took a lot to get to where you were, especially getting the bronze medal. Looking back on it, was it worth all the sacrifice you put in?
RQ: It was difficult taking that semester off for the World Cup and not making the roster, but there was a lot of learning there, and it set me up well for taking the following semester off for the Olympics, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. The bronze medal was definitely worth it in the end. I know I take some things away from Duke, but I’m excited to step back onto the field and I know they won’t fault me for that in the fall.
Q: What do you actually do with the bronze medal itself?
RQ: It’s actually sitting at home. My parents kind of argued with me on that one, but it has a nice place in my room. When we won it, I didn’t take it off my neck for probably four days. It started to hurt.
Q: You have it in a little case, too, right?
RQ: They gave us like a beautiful Brazilian wood case.
Q: Your jersey number apparently is incorrect, and I was told that it’s because your other one was stolen. What’s the story behind that?
RQ: I didn’t find that out until today. I think Jay, our equipment manager, was a little surprised when I said I was going to be in the squad today, so he tried to pull me out another jersey and we had some jokes about it because two years prior, I forgot my jersey going to N.C. State, so they were laughing that I had a mismatched number yet again.
Q: So someone did steal it?
RQ: Someone did steal it in the construction apparently.
Q: Are you going to be number 5 down the road or are you staying 33?
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RQ: Number 5. Hopefully the jersey will be in this week.
Q: When you were gone, we asked teammates of yours if you were playing against the U.S., would they root for you or the U.S.? From your perspective, if your teammate had been playing for the U.S. and you were at home, how would you evaluate your teammate versus country?
RQ: That’s a difficult one because I’m in the national team environment and I do know the players, but I think if I didn’t have any connection in that environment and I didn’t know anyone, maybe I would be cheering for some success for my teammates.
Q: Just in from Brazil after playing in the Olympics for the past month, what was it like to step onto the field and get back with a different team now?
RQ: It was good. I had a meeting with [head coach] Robbie [Church] and [assistant coach] Erwin [von Bennekom] today. They told me about our new formation and whatnot and tried to get enough knowledge as I could to play in the game today, and it was fun, just a little bit of freedom there in the back. Hopefully I’ll learn more and more about the formation as we go along this week before Carolina.
Q: The formation has changed from the four-man standard that you’ve used in the past to either three or five, depending on how you look at it now. What are some of the ways that it’s different for you?
RQ: The Canadian national team, we’ve played three out of the back, working out of the back some too, so that hasn’t changed too much, I guess it’s just defending aspects, so that’ll be good to get a little more familiar with it, but I think we got a good handle on it today.
Q: Could you give us a summary of what your experience was like in Brazil earlier this month?
RQ: It was an incredible experience. We were traveling around, so we didn’t get the Olympic environment that much in Rio because we were based out of Sao Paulo, but it was great having that tournament expertise under my belt and I think it was it was good for me to understand that experience and hopefully bring that back to Duke.
Q: Then also being able to finish there with a bronze medal wasn’t too bad, either?
RQ: Yeah, that wasn’t too bad at all.
Q: What are you looking at as your immediate objectives now that you’re back with the Duke team and trying to get back in the flow and help this team take off?
RQ: First of all, it’s just getting back in the culture, getting back and making those connections with the new players, the freshmen especially, learning the formation and then bringing my own a little bit.
Q: What do you see your role as coming back to Duke? You’ve got a lot of experience in the back, less so in the midfield, where do you think you’re going to fit in?
RQ: I’ve improved a lot in the past six months practicing at the holding mid. I do provide some strengths there, but I also think I provide some strengths in the back, so hoping to find a good balance between the two positions, but it’s where the team needs me. I’m just looking to provide more of that that’s necessary.
Q: You got forward a lot today. Is that something that we can expect to see that you’re going to be aggressive even if you’re at center back?
RQ: They’re hoping for our backs, especially in the free, to step into the midfield and provide playing options through the midfield. I think at times, I was getting a little too high, having some fun with it, and hoping to bring a little bit more discipline to the following games.
Q: How about playing [North] Carolina Friday?
RQ: I’m excited. It’s good to jump in and pull a good result against them to really start my season.