Skylar Bechard came from Southern California to SUNY Oswego to join a rising Laker volleyball team and a nationally recognized zoology program. She’s one of many student-athletes looking forward to the return of live fall sports contests next week.

Q. Southern California, where you're from, is obviously a long way from SUNY Oswego. What brought you to the college?

A. JJ (O'Connell), my coach, actually reached out to me to come and play, and he's like, we have a great program here. We have a great science program and I came and visited it and fell in love with the school.

Q. What do you learn as a zoology major, and how do you like the program?

A. You learn about all types of things, whether it be plants, cells, insects, to like sponges. I've had a lot of different professors here, a lot of different courses, and they all work really well with their students. They are really quick on responding to emails or getting you in to talk to them about anything about the course. They're always willing to help you.

Q. How long have you been playing volleyball, and what do you like most about it?

A. In total, I've been playing volleyball for about 10 years. A long time. I loved the environment of the team, especially when I came and visited for the practices. I love how the girls interacted with each other, how the coach interacted with each other. I just loved the energy.

Q. What's your role on the team?

A. I'm known as a libero. I'm like a defensive specialist basically. I work in the back row.

Q. What kind of responsibilities do you have as a student-athlete?

A. As a student-athlete, you have a lot of like responsibilities -- not drinking, not going out all the time. You have lots of practices, dedication to your teammates, dedication to your schoolwork. You're representing the school in a big way.

Q. How do feel about SUNY Oswego?

I find Oswego to be so easygoing. Everybody's willing to say hi, or they go around the campus with the biggest smile -- well with masks now, but you can still tell.