Tar Heel 3B/C Hailey Jensen talks Duke/State, her recruitment to UNC, ACC softball, and lots more.
One of my preferred sports is learning athletes on a more private level. I had the opportunity to interview Carolina softball star Hailey Jensen on my podcast, Double Take with Matt and Jake. Here’s most of my interview with Hailey — it becomes a blast getting to speak to her, and each Tar Heel fan will experience analyzing or listening to it.
Jake: Welcome to the display, Hailey. UNC Softball tomorrow (3/eight) begins convention play. How did out of convention play move to your group?
Hailey: It sort of went to both approaches. There had been some video games, mainly whilst we first started, we got to play #three Washington and #18 Baylor. Those were clearly near games within the beginning; then the alternative teams just were given to shrink back just a little bit and took the final win. We got to look at some really superb competition, and manifestly we got some awesome wins under our belt as well. We played #17 Michigan and beat them two times, two genuinely high-quality ranked wins for us. We’re genuinely excited to enter conference play and play these groups that we’re used to seeing. We recognize the feel already, in particular, the returners from playing them last 12 months. It’ll be exciting for positive.
Jake: If I’m counting proper, it looks like you played six ranked opponents out of the convention, which looks like a tough agenda.
Hailey: Every yr our coaches truly try and get a great competition that we can see. Obviously, the ACC may be very competitive. You have teams like Florida State, Notre Dame, and Louisville; really, the whole convention is aggressive. Really getting us organized for convention play, our coaches want us to see the high-quality opponents we can. They honestly want to get us within the tournaments where we’re going to look at the one’s competition.
Jake: You’re from Orange County, California. How did you get to Chapel Hill, North Carolina?
Hailey: Originally, I had planned to live in California, changed into searching at some schools obtainable. Then my catching teaches stated, “You understand Hailey, some of the schools inside the South…It’s simply unique. There’s a special sense. I want you to go on a trip to North Carolina; they’re inquisitive about you. If you go and hate it, you may come returned, and you could dedicate yourself to a college right here (California). But in case you cross there and adore it, then we’ll make a selection from there. It would help if you weren’t on the road on a group that at home maybe doesn’t have like tons of a home base or no longer as many enthusiasts coming to the video games. I don’t need you to go on the street for a group like that and play at these large colleges in the South that absolutely have a whole lot of humans coming and helping. I don’t want you to sense such as you missed out on that.”
So I went on a go-to, and I loved it, I didn’t want to leave. There’s simply something about the ecosystem, at Carolina mainly, however simply the South in popular. It’s a change of tempo; it’s truly satisfactory. Everything’s a touch slower; it’s now not as a lot of a hurry, I feel like. People genuinely experience everyday things there greater than I felt like they did on the West Coast.
Jake: Were there every other college within the South/East Coast that were recruiting you? Or turned into it mainly North Carolina and PAC 12/Mountain West schools?
Hailey: The handiest other schools recruiting me from the east coast had been Georgia Tech and College of Charleston.
Jake: Did you go to Georgia Tech? Or become North Carolina your simplest East Coast visit?
Hailey: I genuinely only went on two visits ever, and North Carolina become one of them. So I by no means got to visit Georgia Tech. My recruiting method became truly rapid. The summertime after my freshman yr I had inquiries from Stanford and a couple of smaller schools. My whole life but, I grew up looking to visit Stanford. That’s all I became interested in, so I didn’t clearly observe up with different coaches. I changed into inquisitive about staying in California and being at a tremendous academic faculty, so Stanford was all the way. That’s the school I was going to commit to when my catching instruction said I need to cross visit something at the east coast.
Jake: I grew up on the west coast in Salt Lake City, Utah. My mother lived in Chapel Hill for approximately years; she’s a big Tar Heel fan. I discovered very early in my existence approximately the Carolina/Duke rivalry. In my thoughts, developing up it was Duke/Carolina, and NC State becomes greater of a little brother than whatever. When I started out protecting North Carolina, I was shocked at how many colleagues dislike State. Losing to Duke sucks, but it’s embarrassing to lose to State. Is that a feeling all through the college?
Hailey: That’s genuinely a college feel. I think, at the same time, as the contention is so sturdy, even though we hate Duke, you couldn’t admire the quality of gamers they are having, even if you don’t just like the way they do things once in a while. Not that NC State doesn’t have that; however, if you get beat via Duke, it sucks, but they’re an excellent group. Sometimes you can’t say the same for NC State, as horrific as that sounds — in case you lose to State, there’s no excuse.
I suppose the difference is, particularly, the way human beings play in both video games is so thrilling. I assume while we play Duke in any recreation, it’s very focused, and it’s very severe. I assume while we play NC State, matters can go everywhere, tensions are outstanding high, and people have the propensity to let their feelings get the quality of them. I don’t understand what it’s miles, but I feel like whilst we play Duke, we’re locked in, and when we play State, whatever goes.
Jake: Assuming they’re taking note of this (or reading), who is your funniest teammate?
Hailey: Oh gosh, that’s tough; we have a variety of humorous teammates. I think (1B) Campbell Hutcherson, she’s additionally my pleasant pal, she’s hilarious. Also, there’s (OF/1B) Leah Murray and (OF) Destiny Deberry. Together they’re certainly hilarious. They’re the people who will randomly start dancing, cracking jokes inside the middle of something. So as a group, it’d be Leah and Destiny, personally probably Campbell.