Nov. 20, 2009
Feature by Mary Werling
Redshirt freshman blocker Dana Knudsen came up with a huge win for the Broncos Friday against the Pepperdine Waves, registering 16 kills in the 3-2 win. In addition to Friday's performance, Knudsen was a recipient of the WCC's Player of the Week honor in September.
SantaClaraBroncos.com sat down with Knudsen to learn more about the team's progression this year and her personal goals, as well as her plans for Thanksgiving break.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: As the season begins to come to a close, what are your thoughts on this season for the team?
Dana Knudsen: It's been a growing season for us. Some of the time we're not getting the results that we've particularly wanted but every win or loss has been a great learning experience for us. Each win or loss teaches us something and those experiences will only help us to become a better team.
SCB: How do you think you've grown this season?
DK: This season I've had to change how I hit and just learn how to play smarter. I've also changed my swings and learned that I need to put the ball higher to be more effective. Being on the court this year and having those experiences is priceless information in terms of figuring out what I need to do to improve my finesse at the game.
SCB: Since there are so many underclassmen on the team this year, how have all of you come together as a team?
DK: We've learned a different lesson every game, but I think the key thing is that no matter what we've stuck together no matter what. We're a very supportive team and that strength has gotten us through a lot together.
SCB: With such a long break after the season is over, how do you and the team stay motivated to work hard during the offseason?
DK: We'll start thinking about next season literally the next day after this season is over. Winter quarter we focus on conditioning, both physically and mentally. We have to make sure that we are mentally strong so that we don't let opponents push us around on the court and get inside of our heads. In the spring, we work more on our systems, and that's where the big technical changes occur, like switching hitting arms, etc.
SCB: What are your personal goals for volleyball before you graduate?
DK: Every day I just want to make sure that I'm being the best that I can be; working hard every day and continuing to adapt to the game as I progress. Stats-wise, I'd like to have at least a .380 hitting percentage, and I'd like to earn All-American honors at least once before I graduate.
SCB: Besides volleyball, what other aspects of the Santa Clara community do you enjoy?
DK: I really love volunteering a lot, especially through the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP) here on campus. Singing is also a really big part of my life as well, I really enjoy it a lot. And I love the student masses on Sunday nights here, they're awesome.
SCB: Any plans for Thanksgiving break? What are you looking forward to the most?
DK: I'll be going home and getting some well-needed rest. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my parents, and hanging out with my brother. It should be a really nice break.