February 20, 2004

One-on-One with Women's Hoopster Jennie Rondel

Feb. 20, 2004

The Santa Clara

Senior women's basketball player Jennie Rondel took some time out of her day on Tuesday to sit down with Sports Editor Brian Betz.

BB: How tough has your senior season been with kind of an injury-plagued team?

JR: Injury plagued?

BB: Yeah, you disagree?

JR: Well, with Kayla (Huss) being out and Michelle Cozad, it was hard, but the big issue has been having so many new people. 90 percent of the people on the floor aren't returners.

BB: Is it difficult being one of only two seniors?

JR: Um, no and yeah. It's funny because last year I wasn't one to step up and do all the stuff. I would just follow all my seniors, Kendra (Rhea) and all them. It's kind of nice being one of the only seniors because you can help the younger ones out.

BB: Being a rebuilding year, do you wish you had one more year?

JR: No, I feel like I'm doing all that I can. I've always been told that I have so much potential, I feel that some of that potential is coming out.

BB: So you're ready to get out of here?

JR: I'm due.

BB: So you went to Lake Washington High School in Washington with UCLA guard Brian Morrison. Did you know him very well?

JR: Yes, he dated a couple of my good friends.

BB: So did you ever play against him?

JR: No, he wasn't in my elementary, which is too bad because I was always taking on the boys in elementary. But I've known him forever.

BB: I hear you like to tell a lot of jokes.

JR: I wouldn't say I like to tell a lot of jokes. Maybe I'm a jokester.

BB: Quinn (Thomas) was telling me you're the first person to laugh at your own jokes.

JR: I do, probably. I've got to get some humor out of it.

BB: What direction do you see the program headed?

JR: Um, up. Kayla's (Huss) going to be back, Michelle's (Cozad) going to be back. We've recruited some good posts. I mean, that was my only worry was posts. I'm not even a real post and I'm doing all the work.

BB: At 3-7 in the WCC, what has to happen to turn things around, or are you packing things in and looking toward next year?

JR: We're working to fix up a bunch of little things. We lose our own games. We turn the ball over a lot. But this conference is totally up for grabs. Totally. This could be good or bad, but we're really concentrated on the (WCC) tournament. Like, we think we could just come out in the tournament and blow everybody away. But we should probably be winning these games now if we really wanted to do that.

BB: That's the thing with the tourney, all you've got to do is win a few in a row and you're in. Has attention been directed to next year?

JR: A little bit, maybe, because there's so many new people. I'd call it a rebuilding year.

BB: But you've got home-court advantage for the WCC tourney.

JR: Definitely.

BB: What's been your best memory in your four years?

JR: Probably the Italy trip with my team. We went there for a tournament. It was awesome.

BB: I'd imagine the focus was a little more on traveling than basketball.

JR: Yeah. But we killed the teams though by like 50.

BB: Who got you into basketball?

JR: My daddy.

BB: How old were you?

JR: Gosh, first grade. I had an indoor court. My dad was remodeling our house and put a hoop up for my brother and my brother didn't want to practice, so he bribed me with ice cream and I practiced every day.

BB: Yeah, it wouldn't take much for me with ice cream and an indoor court. Changing gears, I hear you're big into the holidays, especially Christmas.

JR: Yeah, family time.

BB: Do you get a tree here at school?

JR: Oh yeah.

BB: Where do you put it?

JR: Just in the living room.

BB: So are you the team mom around Christmas time?

JR: I guess, I think I'm just the jolly teammate.

BB: You play the guitar?

JR: I'm trying, but not very much. I had a beginning class, but I don't have much time right now. But I'm going to get into it big time.

BB: Do you play any other instruments?

JR: Uh, the harmonica.

BB: ...

JR: No, I'm kidding.