Up Close and Personal with Kelli Sousa
Oct. 19, 2001
Kelli Sousa is a sophomore on this year's volleyball squad. The starting setter is from nearby Castro Valley and leads the West Coast Conference in assists, with 798 on the season for a 13.30 per-game average. Defensively, she's averaging more than two digs per frame.
Sousa recently took some time to share her thoughts on a variety of questions, including some insight how she expands the team trainer's vocabulary.
Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
A: My older sister played basketball and volleyball, so I decided that would be fun. I started young, playing volleyball in third grade for my school. In high school, I picked between the two because of club, and I picked volleyball.
Q: How about your jersey number, 3... does that number have any significance to you?
A: I had No. 3 a couple years in a row when I was little so I decided to keep it.
Q: What's your favorite part about playing volleyball?
A: I like the whole team sport aspect of it. I like the contact with other people on the court the best.
Q: And the worst part?
A: The worst part is when someone's not into it, then the team kind of breaks down. It's no fun.
Q: You had a great opportunity last season to play behind SCU's career record holder for assists, Roz Pelayo. What did you learn from her?
A: I learned a lot from her. She's a really good leader and I learned a lot from watching her on the court and how she interacted with people. She was a tough leader. I admire her a lot.
Q: Is it different not having her there this year?
A: Yeah, but I got some playing time last year, in and out of games. For that first year, I needed somebody ahead of me, but I think I'm alright now.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Santa Clara?
A: First of all, academically, it's a great school. The volleyball program is on a rise and the coaching staff is great. I actually didn't want to go to college close to home... I was sick of my parents, but it ended up being like that.
Q: Has it been okay so far?
A: Yeah, they don't bother me that much. It's nice. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
Q: Have you picked a course of study?
A: I think I'm going to major in communications, but I'm not completely sure. I'm just starting to lean that way. It's a broad major and I don't know what I want to do, but I do like contact with people. I took a communications class last quarter and was interested in it.
Q: Favorite place to go on campus is...?
A: Anywhere under a tree. Just to sit under a tree. I don't really read that often, but I like to listen to my headphones. Just relax and maybe lay on a blanket.
Q: So you like music?
A: Yeah. I like pretty much everything except classic music. I like a lot of rap.
Q: Do you have any special music you listen to before a match to get you pumped up?
A: I don't really need to listen to anything, but I like to listen to 'Pop' before and do our team dance. I like rap music. Rap music pumps me up.
Q: Any hobbies?
A: Nope, not really. I do like to shop.
Q: Have you ever gone shopping with the team's admitted shop-a-holic, Toni Muratore?
A: We have a few times. She's had a bad influence on me. She tells me to buy everything. I like clothes, but nothing specifically.
Q: What's the fun thing to do on campus?
A: I like sleeping, I don't get enough of it.
Q: You guys do practice early in the morning, don't you?
A: Yeah, and we're up late doing homework. No time for sleep.
Q: How hard is it practicing in the morning?
A: All of us have to get mentally prepared for practice, more than ever, because you're body isn't ready to function at 7 o'clock in the morning. But our team's pretty good about getting ready for practice and pushing hard.
Q: I hear you're quite the dictionary for the team's athletic trainer?
A: I'm trying to teach Scott how to use better lingo. I taught Scott how to say 'I know dis' when people tell him he's the bomb and how to say 'don't be a hooride.'
Q: What's a hooride?
A: It's like, don't hate, you know!
Q: Where does this education take place?
A: In the training room. I try to fill Scott in on what's hip. Sometimes trainers don't know. I've got to show Scott the ropes.
Q: What final thought do you want to leave for the team's fans?
A: We have a great group of girls. I enjoy everybody's company and I love everybody on our team. It sounds kind of corny but it's true.