EUSA Insider: Eva Pfeffer

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Age: 21
Place of Birth: Amstetten, Austria
University: University of Vienna (AUT)
Sport: Beach Volleyball

How and why did you get involved in Beach Volleyball?
I first played Indoor Volleyball, which I started when I was 16 years old. Then in summer 2017 I played in the youth Under-20 National Beach Volleyball Championships in Austria and won the silver medal. The coach from the youth national team in Austria was interested in me and convinced me to join the youth national team. Now I am playing my first professional Beach Volleyball season with my partner Franziska Friedl.

What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I study Physical Education and Psychology at the University of Vienna. It’s really not easy to balance competitive sport and studies as I have about 20 hours of training per week, which includes ball practice and athletic training. This takes a lot of time and energy which I would also need for my studies, but I have the honour to be part of the KADA Organisation which is a charitable organisation in Austria which helps students with their education alongside their sport career. I personally try to do a lot of my exams in the off-season in winter because in summer it’s hard to manage the attendance obligations with our tournaments.

Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Championships 2019. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
Koper 2019 was my first EUSA event and I really liked it. The venue directly next to the sea was perfect. I enjoyed that week as the weather was nice and the people there were all really kind. Many bystanders were interested in the Beach Volleyball as well, so we had a nice little crowd cheering for us and that’s all you want as a player.

Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
Because it’s an honour to represent your country and your university at such a big event. Furthermore it’s really interesting to communicate with students from other countries who are studying the same thing, but in a different way because of their specific culture.

“Enjoy your student life and take up the chance of being part of such events like EUSA competitions.”

Next year the European Universities Games are taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. Are you hoping to be there, and if so, what do you hope to achieve?
For sure I would like to defend the European University Champion title!

What is your favourite university sport moment?
The most important moment was when we won the semi-final against Lithuania. It was no easy game because we already played against the girls from Lithuania and had lost really badly in two sets. It was really lightening when we won this game!

What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
Enjoy your student life and take up the chance of being part of such events like EUSA competitions – the serious working life will come earlier than we want!

EUSA would like to congratulate Eva for her success at the 2019 European Universities Championships, and we hope to see her next year at the European Universities Games 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia!