A Fresh Start in Dynamo.
Q: Natalia, let’s talk about Krasnodar now. How long is your contract with Dynamo?
A: For now it is one year contract, till the next May.
Q: How did you settled in Krasnodar?
A: Everything is OK. I got a comfortable apartment, not far from the arena.
Q: Anything unusual about the Dynamo’s volleyball system? How is your adaptation going?
A: The hardest part is the way setter plays here, it is different from the scheme I used to. In Turkey the setter always plays backcourt. Here in Krasnodar, the setter covers the front court. I’m used to setter playing away from the net, whereas here the setter defends the zone close to the net. I have to remember this all the time.
Q: Your team has another high-level spiker Makarova. Does that help mentally? For example if you’re having problem attacking, Makarova can pick up the load. Do you ever thought about this?
A: Of course I know that if I’m having a bad evening there are players who can lead the team and take over the game. But I never think like this during the game. Professionals cannot have this kind of thoughts during the match. Maybe after the game it is OK, but during the game I concentrate on my part of the job no matter what happened.
Q: How your performance depends on emotions?
A: Sometimes I got too excited. But we are professionals and that means we have to overcome ourselves and our emotions to play our best. If we are behind during the game, we have to find the way to turn it around and carry our team to the victory.
Q: You participated in various leagues in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, and now in Russia. Which one you like the most?
A: I cannot single out one or another country. In some countries I like the level of volleyball, and in some others I like the city and the country itself.
Q: And which country and city you like the most?
A: That would be Italy and Switzerland.
Q: Italy is not only a beautiful country, they have great volleyball too. It is the perfect combination, right?
A: Yeah, they have very high level competitions. I’d like to play and live there for some more seasons. Swiss is a nice place to live, but their League is not that strong. And regarding the Azerbaijan, I’m very comfortable there: it feels like home, you know everything, the team is very stable. Only a lot of veterans left already and they have many young players.
Q: Natalia, you lived for some time in Turkey. What do you think about Turkish cuisine?
A: The supermarkets there have big varieties of different kind of food and all the kinds of fresh produces. The only problem I had was the difficulty finding certain type of food that I used to eat while I was back in Donetsk. Also some products tasted differently too. Here, in Krasnodar, everything is exactly the same as back in my childhood.
Q: What kind of food you’re talking about?
A: I’m talking about the dairy products, ham, cheese. The ham and sausages taste very differently from what I was used back home. Also I could to find herrings and dill that I like very much. Here I can get all the food I’m used since the childhood, for example, buckwheat and again all the variety of the diary products.
Q: Have you tried hookah?
A: No. It is not my kind of things. And it is not good for athletes too.
Q: Natalia, what is your version of World All Star team?
A: Oh my (laughing). That is a difficult question. I never thought about that.
Q: It is not me. That’s a question from you fans. Here is another question: what do you think about football? Are you a fan of any team?
A: No, I do not follow football right now.
Q: What do you do in you spare time?
A: I’d like to have some walk, do some readings, go to a beauty salon to make myself pretty. Only I do not have much free time and they go by too fast.
Q: About the beauty, one of websites has a pool who is the prettiest girl in Superleague. What do you think about the pool?
A: I’m all for it. If fans like to vote, why not.
Q: Can you promote anybody from Dynamo? Say somebody except yourselves?
A: Actually I do not consider myself a beauty. But I’m a nice girl (smiling).
Q: So anybody from the team?
A: Merkulova (after some thought).
Q: If you have not played volleyball, what would you do for living? What would you life be like?
A: I suppose I’ll get some serious profession.
Q: Any preferences?
A: It would be interesting to try myself in interior design or landscaping. I would give that a shot. And I’d get married sooner and get a child.
Q: BTW, are you married?
A: Not yet, not for now (smiling shyly).
Q: What do you think about the internet? Do you surf a lot?
A: Internet is very important for me. I’m here by myself. So the internet is the way to communicate with my family and friends. But I do not spend the whole day surfing. I do get some videos, talk over Skype, check some sites and follow the Turkey and Italian Leagues. Basically everything I’m interested in.
Q: Any thought about creating a personal site?
A: If anybody would take over that, I’m totally for it. But it would be hard for me to be there all the time to answer the questions.
Q: How about to follow the Kabeshova’s example: to start blogging on the LiveJournal?
A: I do not know (laughing). I’ll talk with her.
Q: Have you met your fans in face? I know there are people that are devoted fans of yours. Did you meet them?
A: I do not have personal contacts with those fans. But I constantly receive their emails; they post on my odnoklassniki page and ask questions. There is one person from Turkey who always writes to me. Maybe there are even more people on the Facebook, but I have not visited that social network for a while. Yes, there are fans, but I have not talked with them in person.
Q: One more question. Why there were not enough first-tempo attacks in the match with Lenigradka?
A: Honestly, I do not know. Those are setter’s choices or coach’s game plan. From my side, I would say if we explored the fast attack more, the game might went differently.
Q: OK, that’s all we have. Natalia, great thanks for the interview.
A: Thank you too.
[font='"'][/font] Natalia’s Ukrainian last name is Skazka. The English translation is Fairytale. Very romantic name for a girl (Volleyball Al).
[font='"'][/font] This is humorous reference to famous 1984 radio dramatization of Ray Bradbury.