Oct. 3, 2006
Anna Cmaylo, a veteran on the Santa Clara women's volleyball team, is in the middle of another great year for the Broncos. The junior from Napa, California has been a strong leader for the Broncos, helping them go to the Final Four last year, while also being named an All-American. In 2006 Cmaylo has 183 kills and a .474 hitting percentage, while leading the Broncos to an 11-3 record. Cmaylo spoke with SantaClaraBroncos.com about the 2006 season thus far.
How do you think the season is going this year?
Our team is older so we are the more experienced. I think it is showing this year compared to last year when we had some other freshmen playing. I think it is going well thus far, we have had some adversity thrown at us, but we have been able to get back on track. Lindsy (Evans) our freshman setter, who is subbing in for Crystal Matich who got hurt is doing an awesome job. This season looks like it's going to be great.
How is Lindsy Evans transitioning from high school to the collegiate level, and coming in for Crystal as the starting setter?
She was our right side for a little while before this, but she never really had a chance to train to be a setter because Crystal is so good. So she rarely practiced setting in practice. When Crystal was hurt Lindsy had to start and she was just thrown into the wolves, but she is doing great.
What are some overall goals the team has, anything different from last year's amazing season?
I think that last season our expectations for ourselves were much less, because people did not expect us to do well. The coaches and the team think we are great, but in the volleyball community we are not looked upon as one of the huge volleyball powerhouses. After our run last year, and seeing what we were really capable of, I think we realized that it would be silly to not make our goal winning a National Championship and our conference. Last year I think a lot of us were too timid and were thinking "I just want to have fun," but this year I want to be number one at the end of the year.
As defending WCC Champs, which conference teams do you think will be the Broncos greatest challenge?
I think Pepperdine this Saturday is going to be good, they have been having a good season so far, and San Diego is always one of our biggest rivals. Last year we went 1-1 with them, but our conference overall is pretty good.
After personally coming off a great season, being named an All-American, what goals are you coming to this season with?
I think they are similar to our team goals. I never could imagine I could reach the All-American status, and I think being named that is such an honor and an awakening that I am good enough. It gives me that added confidence so that when times are going tough I know that I can do it, and am ready for them to set me the next ball.
Have the freshmen been able to adjust well to this very competitive team?
I think that it is really easy when you come in as a freshman to take a back seat and think that you are not good because you are a freshman and I do not know what I am doing so do not get mad at me. None of our freshmen have done that yet, and I do not expect that of anyone. It is a really hard transition from being the best on your team, the highest level high school players and then for them to be at the bottom of the totem pole in college. It's amazing to me to watch them, to see them compete at the level they do, because it would be so easy for them to give up on plays or not be competitive. All our freshmen are doing a great job and contributing a lot to the team moral.