Feature by Student Assistant Brian Elser (BE).
The Santa Clara volleyball team started spring practice on April 9. The Broncos will be looking to clinch their 12th NCAA Tournament bid in 13 years in 2010. They will also be playing host to the University of Washington on Fri., May 7 at 7 pm and then on Sat., May 8 at 1 pm. Both matches will be played at the Leavey Center and are free and open to the public. The Broncos will then travel up north the following weekend to play Washington on their home court on Fri., May 14 at 7 pm and then again on Sat., May 15 at Noon.
Senior Krista Kelley and Junior Tanya Schmidt look to lead a young Bronco team that features only three seniors. Kelley racked up 82 kills on the season and was named to three All-Tournament Teams, including being named MVP at the Sac State Invitational. Schmidt had 86 kills with a .326 hitting pct. and had 48 blocks for the Broncos.
Brian Elser (BE): So, spring practice started on Friday. What is your team doing to get prepared for the fall? And do they change in the summer?
Krista Kelley (KK): To get prepared for the fall, our team is focusing a lot on physical fitness and conditioning. We are working out with Coach Forbes, our strength and conditioning coach, to make sure we are in prime shape for this upcoming season. We are also working with our coaches in individual positions and together as a team to perfect our volleyball technique. In the summer, for the girls who will be around, we will continue to work with Coach Forbes, and also receive individual practices from our coaches.
Tanya Schmidt (TS): We are training hard to improve our volleyball skills, strength and conditioning and mental game. We are all working toward a common goal and are focused on improving every day.
BE: What is the best part about playing volleyball for Santa Clara?
KK: Our team! We are a little family and we get along so well. All the girls on the team are great friends and it is fun to play and compete together on the volleyball court, and hang out off the court.
TS: Being a part of the Bronco athletic tradition. I regard the Leavey Gym with great respect because of the many successful Bronco athletes before me and because of the Bronco Bench donors who make my experience here possible (thank you, Chickie!). Every time I step onto the court, I want to honor the Bronco volleyball tradition by playing hard and executing.
BE: How does your team like working with the new strength coach?
KK: Coach Forbes is awesome! He is getting us in great shape and you can already see the work we are doing transfer onto the volleyball court. We are all getting stronger and quicker which is helping us perform better on the court.
TS: I respect Coach Forbes. He is a valuable asset to our team. He is training us to be more dynamic and explosive athletes.
BE: What are you looking to improve from an individual standpoint for next season?
KK: I am always looking to improve overall ball control. Personally, and as a team, we are determined to make our ball control much better. This means we will be able to pass and place the ball more accurately on the court.
TS: I am working on becoming a more dynamic hitter. Dana Knudsen and I have been practicing with the setters to establish better connections. Each player on the team is working hard to improve specific skills in her position, and I am looking forward to playing our spring competition so that we can see how we put it all together.
BE: Besides volleyball, what other aspects of the Santa Clara community do you enjoy?
KK: I enjoy my classes. I am at the point in my education where all my classes are more specific to my communication major and philosophy minor. I get to take the classes that I find interesting and exciting. I am learning different aspects and areas of both studies that are leading me to discover my passion and hopefully a future career path.
TS: I am grateful for the many opportunities to volunteer and get involved in issues of social justice. I have found great joy and hope from interaction with peers in SCCAP (Santa Clara Community Action Program) and Campus Ministry who take an active role in making our world a better place.