Sept. 25, 2005
The Santa Clara women's volleyball team is off to a hot start in 2005, boasting an impressive 10-1 record. Much of the attention and accolades has been focused on outside hitters Kim McGiven and Cassie Perret. True, the two Broncos have each earned a West Coast Player of the Week award and Perret was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week. However, sophomore Anna Cmaylo has also played a pivotal role in SCU's early success as the team's starting middle blocker. She is averaging 3.28 kills per game, third best on the team, and leads the squad in blocks with her 1.39 average. She has made the all-tournament team in all four preseason tournaments SCU has competed in and was voted the MVP of the recently competed Brown Invitational.
Before Santa Clara hosts San Jose State on Tuesday at 7 p.m., Cmaylo sat down for a quick interview to discuss her summer, her favorite foods, and much more.
1. How did you spend your summer?
I spent a week back home in Napa, where I'm from, and then I went back to the East Coast to visit a bunch of my family for three weeks. I came here in the beginning of July to start coaching camps. Then we started volleyball in the middle of August and that's pretty much it!
Any real vacation time?
Well, when I went to the East Coast, it was kind of like a vacation. I went to Cape Cod and hung out on the beach.
Which do you prefer - East Coast or West Coast?
I'd say it's a toss-up. I like them both, but for different reasons. I always see myself living on the West Coast, but I love going back East!
So you're a West Coast girl who loves to visit the East Coast every now and then?
Yes. I would hate to think that I could never go back there.
So, do you think you could survive the winters on the East Coast?
Ugh, no! I went back there for a month during Christmas break and I died! I had to shovel the driveway and wear layers and I hated it!
So where exactly on the East Coast does your family live?
My dad, stepmom and three of my youngest siblings live right outside New York City, in New Jersey. But we spend the summers up in Cape Cod.
So are the beaches pretty nice there, up in Cape Cod?
Yeah they are, but they aren't like the beaches here. They are nice, but different.
So you came back here for some of the volleyball camps earlier this year. How did you like coaching?
I actually spent last year coaching a bunch of 13-year-olds for a club team. So it was just like that. It's hard because you just want to back them better, but they are really young and they aren't coordinated yet. But it's really rewarding to see them get better, especially in a week's span. You come in and they've never played volleyball, but by the end of the week, they can actually do something!
Do you think you might want to follow in this profession?
You know, I haven't really thought about it. I think I'm coaching a club team again this year, but I haven't really thought about it in terms of a career.
2. Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes?
Probably anyplace that has great sales.
Do you like a particular store or area to shop at?
I like shopping in Santa Cruz because they have good stores that aren't that expensive and they have clothes that you wouldn't find at other places.
So what's your typical attire as a Santa Clara student?
Jeans, flip-flops and a tee-shirt.
So pretty casual, huh?
Yeah, pretty much.
3. What would you say your dream job would be?
I'd say I'd like to be, this may sound kind of silly, but I'd love to work for an auction house and go around the world to find cool antiques that you could auction off. Or work somewhere that would sell art stuff.
So would you want to be the researchers or be the person who calls out the auction items?
No, I don't want to be the person that goes, "100,100, do I hear 100?" I want to be the one that goes around to different cities, preferably places in Europe, and go see little antique shops and estate sales and find cool things that are worth something.
So you have an interest towards the arts?
Yeah. It would be my dream job, but I don't know if I would really want to do it. I'm taking my first art history class this quarter and so I don't really know if I'm going to like it yet. So I think doing that would be really fun and interesting, just to travel around and be involved in art, but I don't really know if I would want to do it for real, or at least experience it for real.
Or at least pass your first art history class, huh?
Yes! Maybe then I could decide.
Have you declared a major yet?
No. I'm minoring in French, but I have not yet declared my major.
Are you leaning towards one subject over another?
Well I'm in the Arts & Sciences, so I'm leaning towards either Sociology, English or History. And Art History... so I don't really know. It's really up in the air. I have to figure that all out soon.
4. What has been your most embarrassing moment to date?
Last year, I was walking along right outside there [the Leavey Center], in between Casa and the health center, near the lawn. I was by myself and walking from [teammate] Crystal [Matich]'s room and I had a bunch of my jerseys in my hand. A person nearby was tossing a tennis ball to his dog, like a huge Labrador. I love dogs, so I'll usually go, "Hi dog!" if they run over to me. So I'm walking along with my jerseys and Crystal is watching me from her room. There are these two guys walking right behind me, so I didn't see them at all. All of a sudden, the huge Labrador, who I found out later was a puppy, tramples me. I wasn't expecting it, so I go flying and my jersey goes flying out of my hand. I totally eat it on the grass, fully flayed out on the grass. I looked around and the guys behind me were looking at me like, "Did that just happen?" So I just got up and pretend like it didn't happen. I walked into Casa, where I was going, and I pressed on the elevators, which took a really long time! The guys came in and we were in the elevator together and I was just really embarrassed. I see the guys all the time around campus and they are always saying, "Did you see my dog, blah, blah" and they always make jokes about it. So that was one of my most embarrassing moments.
Well luckily, it was only witnessed by two people...
Exactly! Now it's just a funny joke. I can't believe that it actually happened.
It's one of those things that only happens on TV...
Right. I was literally just walking along, with my jersey in hand, and whoa! I completely go flying. It was so funny.
What about on the volleyball court? Do embarrassing things happen during practice or games?
Yeah. A couple of times during games I'll miss the ball. Not now, but in high school. There'd be a set and I'd swing, and I'd completely miss it!
You'll just say, "That wasn't for me."
Yeah. It was for the outside hitter! Or sometimes in drills here, I'll be super tired and a ball will hit me in the face. If the coaches are hitting at us, I'll just take it in the face.
5. It seems like these days, networks are popping up with all kinds of reality TV shows. What reality TV show would you want to pitch to the networks?
Everyone on the team, this actually has to do with volleyball, but it's a really good idea. A few days ago, you know how MTV is submitting ideas for a reality show and one person gets it? It's a new reality TV show, people submitting ideas for a show. We wanted to submit a reality show about our team because we have a lot of drama that goes on every once in a while. The heartache, the stress, and the great moments... we just think it would be fun to do a reality show about our team. But if there wasn't volleyball, I don't know. I don't have any exciting ideas.
What reality TV show would you want participate in?
Real World, for sure. Oh no, wait... maybe The Amazing Race. I don't know. Real World because you get to live in a really cool house and have really cool jobs, but The Amazing Race because they get to travel all over and do fun things.
New York City because I've always wanted to live there. Not forever, but after college, I think if I was living in a huge suite with a really cool job, that would be great.
Is it also because New York City seems a bit faster paced than Napa or Santa Clara?
Yeah. Also because it's such a cool place to be. There's so much stuff going on. I've been to New York a million times because my dad lives over there. So I've never lived there, but seen it as an outside tourist. I just think it would be fun to live there.
6. If you could have one last meal made for you, what would it be?
I think either my dad's Pasta Aiello or my mom's chicken and dumplings. Those are my two favorites.
So just homemade food?
Oh, for sure.
What's your favorite restaurant in Santa Clara (or the vicinity)?
Crystal and I go to CPK [California Pizza Kitchen] a lot. I also like Sonoma Chicken Coop. It's down in San Jose and it's really good. Those are my favorites, where I go a lot. I spend a lot of money when I go to restaurants, so it would probably be somewhere at Santana Row.
Can you cook?
I can cook, but I don't have a kitchen. It makes it kind of difficult! I can cook pretty well with a microwave though. When I go home I cook.
7. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would definitely want to fly because it would just be sweet. I've always wanted to fly. I have dreams and in my dreams, I fly and I always wake up and I can't fly. I get bummed that I can't fly in real life.
8. What is a fact about you that not many people know?
I'm allegoric to nuts. I'm a bubble child. I'm allergic to everything! It was a hard life as a kid. I was the kid that the school had to outlaw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because of me.
Yeah. If anyone ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and touched a door and then I would touch it, I'd have to go to the hospital. True story. So it sucked when I was little.
So it's a skin thing?
Well no. I have eczema and I have asthma. So if I touch something or eat something I'm allergic to, it will give me hives. My asthma will flare up and my throat will close. I've eaten stuff that I didn't know I was allergic to and my tongue will swell up and I can't breathe. My allergies have gone down as I've gotten older and I've become more aware of them, so I don't have as many flare-ups.
So you better watch out for opposing teams offering you food...
I know! If they catch word of this... Actually, it's kind of a big deal in our locker room because in between games a lot of the players eat trail mix that has nuts in it. So they have to wash their hands and don't touch the ball. It's annoying.