CPC Featured Player Q&A: Serena Liu

Serena started playing for the All Blues in fall 2016, and has played every season with us ever since. She currently serves as as one of three co-captains this spring D2 developmental season. According to Theo Bennett, last season’s WPL coach, Serena “loves to train and is highly intelligent…[and] has the ability to take controlled risks.” Both he and current D2 head coach Evan Hoese noted her “high work ethic” and “constant commitment to improvement.” Towards the latter quality, Hoese said that Serena is “always looking for meaningful feedback...extra sessions of skills and fitness outside of practice...and always takes ownership of her responsibilities and ways she can grow.” As a leader Serena inspires her teammates by both pushing herself and them; her belief in and care of the team is “palpable.”

 

Full Name (plus any rugby nickname(s)): Serena Liu

Hometown: Brea, CA
Position(s) played: Fullback, Wing, Outside Center, Flyhalf

 Serena Liu proudly displaying the All Blues jersey.  Photo: Victoria Abrenica

Serena Liu proudly displaying the All Blues jersey.  Photo: Victoria Abrenica

All Blues: Did you play any sports prior to rugby? When and how did you first start playing rugby? 

Serena: I played soccer and ran track in high school. I wanted to join a club team in college and there weren’t many to choose from. My boyfriend at the time played rugby and encouraged me to try it out. I was immediately hooked! 

 

AB: Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby? Thinking about a game you thought went really well for you, how did you get your mind and body ready for that match?

S: I think that it is really important to have a growth mindset and always be willing to learn new things but also continue to work on mastering the basics. I’m still trying new things and working on figuring out what works best for me in regards to a pre-match routine for games.

 Serena played for the University of Hartford in Connecticut during all her four years of undergrad. Photo courtesy of Serena Liu

Serena played for the University of Hartford in Connecticut during all her four years of undergrad. Photo courtesy of Serena Liu

AB: How did you first find out about the All Blues? What made you come out here and join us?

S: After taking a few years off rugby after I graduated from undergrad, I wanted to get back into rugby and have also always wanted to live in the Bay Area… so I moved out here at the end of 2016 and joined the team. One of the best decisions I’ve made!

 Serena with the D2 team, spring 2017. 

Serena with the D2 team, spring 2017. 

AB: Is there a particular player and/or coach that has influenced your development as a player?  In what way(s) did they help you?

S: I would have to say that I’m still pretty new to the sport and have a lot left to learn. I think all the coaches I have had have influenced me in different ways. Rugby is definitely a sport that can teach you a lot about yourself and life in general. There is a lot of carryover to the real world.

 

AB: Most memorable time with the All Blues?

S: The most memorable times are the ones where you get to know your teammates off the pitch… I’ll just leave it at that.

 All smiles! Photo: Victoria Abrenica

All smiles! Photo: Victoria Abrenica

AB: What skills are you working on/would like to work on right now?

S: Right now I’m really working on improving my defensive skills; working on improving my tackling technique and being able to read the game quicker when on defense. And you know I’m always working on my chip kicks and grubbers…

 Serena doing the kick off during a 2017 summer 7s tournament in Marin. Photo: Victoria Abrenica 

Serena doing the kick off during a 2017 summer 7s tournament in Marin. Photo: Victoria Abrenica 

AB: What is your favorite non-rugby activity? Do you have any passions besides rugby?

S: Does Sunday Touch count as a non-rugby activity with East Bay Vintage Rugby? Haha, but I do love to be outdoors in nature and I think the Bay Area is a great place for that. I love to surf and snowboard and don’t do it enough because of rugby, but I’m okay with that. Oh, and also eating. I love to eat.