April 17, 2012

Ali Rambis Ready to Get Back on the Court

By Connor Witt '13

Ali Rambis (AR) played in 35 sets this fall and recorded service aces in four different matches, but she was sidelined for a large part of the season with an elbow injury. The rising junior is preparing to make her return in the fall as she trains with the Broncos throughout the spring. She recently spoke with www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) about the state of the volleyball program and her father's induction into the WCC Hall of Fame.

SCB: How do you feel about the new additions to the coaching staff this year? What do they bring to the program?
AR: I love the new coaches and the changes they have brought with them.  I have had so much respect for Matt Lyles since he began helping us last spring so I was really excited to have the opportunity to play for him and learn some of his knowledge for the game. Brad Keller brings so much energy and excitement to practices.  He makes me so excited to walk into the gym every day because he has such a passion and love for this game and just wants to teach us as much as he can.

SCB: The spring schedule includes the first-ever beach tournament for SCU. Have you played beach in the past? Do you look forward to that event in particular?

AR: I have played beach about as long as I've played indoor volleyball because I am from Manhattan Beach so I grew up where beach volleyball has a huge influence on volleyball players.  When Jon Wallace told us about this event last quarter I was so excited to be able to play in it and having the opportunity to practice on the sand courts with the rest of the team has been so fun.

SCB: How have you worked to improve this offseason?
AR: Winter quarter training brings us back to basics and the coaches have us focusing solely on technique, which really helped me to sharpen and polish some of my skills and bring that into our practices for spring with the rest of the team.  I have really been focusing on getting into the best shape possible conditioning wise and working on the fundamentals in practices.

SCB: This March your father, Kurt Rambis, was admitted into the WCC Hall of Fame. Were you able to attend the event?
AR: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend his induction, but his achievements and success have provided so much inspiration for me as an athlete to work as hard as he did.

SCB: Does your father's success impact how you approach the game of volleyball and your preparation?
AR: It absolutely does.  From the time my brothers and I learned how to play sports, we have always been taught his mentality and work ethic towards athletics and that has so much to do with the type of athlete I have become today.

SCB: What are your personal and team goals for the upcoming season?
AR: The team has been working so hard to implement our new system of play in practices so I really want us to be able to perfect upon it and bring that into the gym for double days in August.  Also, I'd really like to take every opportunity I have to get better this spring and prepare myself as much as possible for our season in fall.

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