By A.J. von Massenhausen '14
While most freshmen on the men's water polo team redshirt their first year to acclimate to the more physical collegiate game, Kyle Surber (KS) has stepped right in and made his presence felt on the Bronco squad. The East Bay Area native from Amador High School in Pleasanton has made an immediate impact, putting up 13 goals, 7 assists, 10 steals, and an impressive 12 kick outs drawn so far in the season. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) got a chance to catch up with Surber and discuss his early success, the team's unique brotherhood, and the upcoming Rodeo Invitational.
(SCB): How have you been able to adjust so well to the college game?
(KS): Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to have lived close enough to Santa Clara to practice with the team. The few months that I had over the summer allowed me to adjust to the style of play at the college level.
(SCB): Can you speak to the leadership of the veterans on the team? What kind of standard have they set for you in terms of having a solid work ethic?
(KS): The team as a whole has set high expectations for everything that we do. They expect everyone to work as hard as they can at all times because they know that it will pay off.
(SCB): As a team, you guys have tremendous chemistry. How has the squad been able to establish such a strong connection?
(KS): Ever since the start of our season, everyone has been very welcoming to us incoming freshmen. If we make a mistake during practice, they take the time to explain what we have done wrong, instead of just getting frustrated and giving up. Also out of the pool, they are very inclusive in the activities that they are participating in, making it very easy to feel welcome as a Santa Clara water polo player.
(SCB): What is your favorite down time activity when you're relaxing away from the pool?
(KS): My favorite down time activity is just hanging out with the team and other students at Santa Clara.
(SCB): As a freshman who has had such early success, have you set any personal goals you strive to accomplish throughout your playing career?
(KS): My biggest goal is to continuously try to improve in every aspect of the game. I want to get to the point where I make limited to no mistakes on defense, always make the correct pass, take the right shots, and am fundamentally sound in overall gameplay.
(SCB): Tell us why the average Santa Clara student should come out and support the Broncos during the Rodeo Invitational this weekend.
(KS): Students should come out and support us at our Invitational because the games are exciting and intense, fast pace, and relatively short. Also we are trying to sweep the tournament, and that will make for an exciting time for the spectators. If you can only make one game, try to make it to the Air Force game, because we have already lost once to them and are looking for sweet revenge.