After several sesons spent in Italy and Korea Sarah Pavan is enjoying playing in Brazil. Where she would like to play in the future? You can read it in our interview.
You come from a family with a volleyball tradition. Do you have volleyball in the blood, or perhaps did you want to do something completely different as a child?
I grew up in the gym, so I always wanted to play volleyball. Growing up, I played every sport, including basketball, soccer, and track and field, and I loved them all. My parents never pushed me into playing volleyball, but I ended up liking it more than everything else, and chose to pursue it more seriously.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 2008, you started your professional career. The first step was Italy. What made you pick with Serie A?
I chose to play in Italy because it had been my dream since I was a child to play in that league. It had a good reputation of being a good league, and my family is Italian, so I thought it would be a good place to start.
Do you think that was a good choice?
I think it was a good choice. It was a good place to start my professional career.
Then you signed a contract with the Expressway Zenith. How was your stay in Korea?
Korea was very different from anything else I have experienced. It was nice to get out of my comfort zone, and to learn about a culture that I didn’t know very much about. I enjoyed learning a different style of training and playing, and the country was great.
Last season you returned to Italy. Are you happy with the results you have had with Villa Cortese (as a team and individually)?
I had a fantastic time playing in Villa Cortese last year. Making the final four of champions league was a great experience, and even though the results in the Italian league were not exactly what we had hoped for, the team had a really good year overall. I learned a lot playing there, and I felt like I got a lot better that year individually.
Now you are a part of Unilever team. What is your experience to play in Brazil?
I am really enjoying playing in Brazil. The league is very strong, and it is great to be able to train and play with such great players everyday. The weather is amazing 🙂 and I am still learning and getting better playing here.
Italy, Korea, Brazil – three different countries from three different
continents. Could you point out the biggest differences and similarities when it comes to volleyball, people, life?
Italy and Brazil have a very similar style of volleyball, but the Brazilians are much more physical. They are more aggressive in attack and defense, and play a little faster, but the general style is similar. The Korean style is much more defense-oriented. The players are not as big as they are in the other countries, so the biggest strength there is defense. The people and life in Korea are very traditional, with the typical Eastern Asian values and customs. The Brazilians are very laid-back, and are more relaxed and happy than anywhere else I have been. Italy is in the middle of the two 🙂
Do you have any dreams related to where you would like to play in the future?
I think at some point in my career it would be interesting to play in Turkey. I have heard a lot of good things about the country and the volleyball there is great.
Do you like to travel or is it just a necessity in being an athlete?
I love to travel! It is difficult to get out and see anything cultural when I travel for volleyball, so whenever I have some free time, I like to go on vacation. My husband and I went to the Iguazu Falls at the border of Argentina and Brazil on our most recent trip. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to go everywhere I want to.
What do you like to do most of all, except playing volleyball? Your biggest hobby.
I have a lot of hobbies. Other than traveling, I like to go to the beach, go to the movies, read, go to the theater. I like to do anything that keeps me busy, and I love to be outside. I also love to learn, so I am always taking classes to discover something new.