Roommates bond over volleyball, food

Austin Laymance

As the old saying goes, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Rachael Adams stays out of the kitchen at home, where she lives with teammate and close friend Amber Roberson, but the reason has nothing to do with her ability to withstand the heat.

Actually, the junior middle blocker just can’t cook. At least not as well as her fellow junior and roommate.
“Amber is the head chef and I’m the chef-in-training,” Adams said, laughing and looking over her shoulder towards the smiling Roberson. “She cooks and I clean.”

But that doesn’t mean Roberson, an outside hitter, isn’t showing her partner the ropes in the kitchen.

“I’m trying. Sometimes I have got to watch her a little bit more before she burns the house down,” Roberson said. “So it’s not good.”

While Adams continues to hone her skills — she’s currently learning to fix steak — she can’t help but enjoy living with an experienced chef.

Roberson said years of watching and learning from her mother and grandmother have prepared her to feed her “chef-in-training.” Coming from a big family, she would cook for her brothers and sisters when her parents were out of the house. Now, Roberson is busy keeping her roommate happy.

“Our favorite is Texas Skillet,” Adams said. “That is our meal when we are having a good week.”

It’s a meal they learned from the team’s nutritionist, and one the girls may be tiring of because of Texas’ success of late — the Longhorns have won nine straight matches.

But while the duo may agree on their favorite meal, the same cannot be said for their sleeping habits.

Adams is an early bird, a morning person. And, as Roberson admits, she isn’t afraid to blast her music when she wakes up.

But while Adams is busy getting ready for bed in the evening, usually around 10 p.m., Roberson is wide-awake and far from tired, much to Adams’ chagrin.

“She talks really loud at night on the phone and on Skype when no one else is in the house,” Adams said. “But I’m getting used to it now. We’re pretty compatible. I can’t complain — it’s a good living situation.”
Ever since the two moved in together last spring, they’ve improved their connection on the court as well as off and are a major reason behind Texas’ hot streak.

“It translates well,” Roberson said. “We don’t have any problems because we live together and are comfortable with one another.”

But while the two enjoy one another’s company at home and behind the net, there’s one thing they don’t do well together.

“We communicate really well but we are not compatible pepper partners,” Adams said, referring to the team’s pregame warm up. “We are so much alike that we butt heads and I will tell her what to do and she will tell me what to do. But on the court the talking and communication between us is really good.”

The middle blocker and outside hitter have taken the Big 12 by storm in their junior seasons. Adams was named Conference Player of the Week in consecutive weeks before Roberson found her stride, but the girls don’t get on one another about their performances.

“As long as someone in the house is doing well, that’s all that matters,” Adams said.

And while Roberson has tallied more kills than Adams of late, it’s not something she holds over her roommate.

“That’s not my style, I’m not a bragger,” Roberson said.

Adams is content with living in Austin and sampling Roberson’s cuisine but the Cincinnati native still misses her other home.

“Right now I’m really missing the changing of the leaves,” Adams said. “I’m sad about that. I wish there were orange and yellow trees.”

The perfect cure for homesickness? Roberson’s Texas Skillet.