Sept. 9, 2009
The Santa Clara volleyball team, 4-2 on the young season, welcomes six freshmen this season, including Woodside, Calif. native Katherine Douglas (KD). SantaClaraBroncos.com will visit with each player this season.
Santa Clara, 4-2, opens the 2009 home schedule at the Leavey Center this weekend when it hosts No. 25 Arizona Thurs., Sept. 10 at 7 pm and then Utah at 7 pm on Sat., Sept. 12. Arizona comes in with a perfect 6-0 record. Utah is 5-2 and the highest non-ranked team in the country this week based on votes. Arizona will be the third ranked season the Broncos have played the early season.
Douglas was named to the Sac State Invitational All-Tournament team, collecting two double-doubles this weekend. On the season Douglas is averaging 2.50 kpg, .29 apg, 2.21 dpg and .67 bpg. She has had double-figure kills in half of the Broncos matches this year.
Below Douglas talks about her favorite play on the court, why she came to Santa Clara and how much fun it is to be on a team with five other freshmen.
SCU: What are you looking forward to about the tournament this weekend?
KD: I'm really excited to play the teams that are ranked. Both the teams we are playing should be a challenge for us. And I know we played Utah last year and it didn't go so well, so we are really excited to get the opportunity to play them again.
My mom, dad and sister, and I think my grand-parents, cousins, aunts and uncles are coming this weekend. And actually a lot of my friends from high school who play volleyball want to come, so I'm really excited. I just wish there were more students around at Santa Clara to come.
They are going to be a really exciting matches! It gets really intense when it gets close and everyone is really competitive and it's fun to watch good players. You're close to the action as a spectator so I hope we have a lot of fans - including any students on campus.
SCU: What's been the best part so far of playing college volleyball?
KD: Definitely going to Hawaii was really fun. It was a great way to start as a freshman, and there were huge crowds against Hawaii--I don't know if I'll ever play in front of that big of a crowd again, but that was really fun.
SCU: Why did you choose Santa Clara?
KD: I liked the team and I felt so comfortable here. Every time I came to campus, it just felt like the right place. I thought about other schools, it just felt so right every time I came here, and I just love the coaches and the team.
It was a very hard decision. I knew I didn't want to leave Northern California, which narrowed it down, but it came down to Cal, Santa Clara and Stanford--I thought sometimes "you like Cal", but every time I came to visit Santa Clara, it was just perfect. The campus is beautiful here and the people are so nice.
SCU: Have things gone like you expected they would go since you've come to college?
KD: I would say so far it's better than I expected. There's nothing I don't like so far--everything has been great. It's been really fun.
SCU: How has the freshman class adapted?
KD: I absolutely love our freshman class. I think that's a huge part of why it's so much fun here. It's fun to be around a group of six, and we always hang together, so it's really fun.
SCU: Your first collegiate match was against No. 9 UCLA at Hawaii. How did you feel before the match? A few pre-game jitters?
KD: At the beginning it was really overwhelming. It was a big crowd to start off to in Hawaii, and being a freshman, it was my first match. But after a few points I got used to it, but it felt like everyone was a little uncomfortable with our first game. So, I was nervous, but after we played against Hawaii and Western Michigan, I felt like we really came together as a team and it was fun.
SCU: You played in front of more than 6,000 fans at No. 7 Hawaii the next night.
KD: The entire match was very intense. The feeling on our side of the court was great--you could tell everyone wanted to win so badly and it was just so competitive, which was great. We lost the match 3-1 to Hawaii, but we learned a lot about ourselves.
SCU: Is it more fun to play against someone who's going to challenge you, or is it more fun to just knock down kills left and right?
KD: Both are fun, but I would say that playing against someone who is a challenge is much more fun.
SCU: Talk a little about the Western Michigan match in Hawaii. They went to Sweet 16 last season and returned a very experienced team.
KD: That match was a little up and down. They would win 25-18 and then we would win 25-18, but before our fifth game - Dustin Moore gave us a great speech at the beginning and we came out and did our thing.
Before the fifth game, Dustin told us that the freshmen don't know the Broncos history and how they always win, and that they've never lost a fifth game. He was full of fire, but it got us all so pumped up, so it helped a lot.
SCU: You played another fifth game at Sac State this past weekend, and they actually served to win the match three times. What was the energy like on the court then?
KD: Similar to Hawaii. It was really intense and we all wanted to win, and Dustin gave us another speech that got us really fired up, so it was really fun.
SCU: You will have played 12 matches before your first day of college because Santa Clara is on quarters (school starts Sept. 21). How is that to adjust to?
KD: Honestly, I think this is the best way to go because you have a certain amount of time to adjust to volleyball and school and get used to your surroundings before even starting school--you can just focus on volleyball, which is great.
I think classes are going to be really challenging and hard; and I have to time-manage everything.
SCU: What's one thing that when you came to college, you said "I want to make sure I do that this year"?
KD: I want to go to the NCAA Tournament, of course!
SCU: What's your favorite play in volleyball?
KD: I play outside left. I really like to hit the 2. I have a lot better vision when I'm coming from the middle, so I like that.
SCU: What's something you don't like to do on the volleyball court?
KD: That's hard - I love playing volleyball. My least favorite part is probably serving. We do a lot of serving in practice and I think it's a good thing--it's the only way to get better.
SCU: Who is your favorite volleyball player all-time?
KD: I really like Kerri Walsh. I met her once - actually at the airport. We took pictures--I was with Tareh Murrey (Cal volleyball player). We were just freaking out!
SCU: Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us! Go Broncos!