Up Close and Personal with Kelli Sousa

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.