By Kaitlin Fuelling, '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – While most teams are preparing for fall volleyball season, this freshman from Santa Barbara, Calif. is in the midst of playing the squad's newest obsession, beach volleyball. During the past fall season, Rottman played in 48 sets and earned 33 digs, and three blocks. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) was able to sit down with Danielle Rottman (DR) and talk about her time as a Bronco so far, some of her training tips, and memorable experiences.
SCB: How has your freshman year at Santa Clara been so far? How did you enjoy your first season of collegiate volleyball?
DR: I have loved freshman year so far! I have had such a good experience in the classroom, on the volleyball team, and just being a Bronco. My first season of collegiate volleyball was great. Adjusting to college volleyball is challenging for everyone because of the higher level of play compared to high school and club volleyball. Double days and pre-season training were hard and I even experienced my first "coach on one" which was a bit of a shocker but overall there are so many fun memories from this season. Making it to the NCAA tournament as a freshman was also an awesome experience.
SCB: Tell me a little bit about how you started playing beach volleyball.
DR: I grew up in Santa Barbara and about five minutes away from East Beach, which is a very popular place to play beach volleyball. I always played for fun and started to play competitively in CBVA tournaments in the summers. My dad was also an influence because he played in the AVP back in the day, so my sisters and I always had someone to play with.
SCB: Do you train differently for volleyball on the beach versus on the court?
DR: As many of my teammates can attest to, the game of sand volleyball requires you to be in great shape. Moving in the sand is much harder than on the court surface so it is important to condition regularly as well as improve strength. I also think that just playing in the sand more is the best way to effectively train. Practice makes perfect!
SCB: What is your favorite thing to do outside of school and volleyball?
DR: I enjoy anything that has to do with being outdoors. I love hiking and going to the beach just for fun. I'm not the best surfer but I have to say that I've gotten pretty good at boogie-boarding.
SCB: It looks like your entire family plays volleyball. Did you grow up playing together? Did this have an impact on whether you wanted to play in college or not?
DR: I definitely was raised in a volleyball family. Both my parents played volleyball and then my older sister, Emily, started playing at a young age. My dad would always pepper with my sisters and I in the backyard and play little competitive games with us ever since we were little. I started playing on an actual team when I was 11 and I've enjoyed playing ever since. I always knew that I wanted to continue at the college level.
SCB: What has been your most memorable experience as a Bronco so far?
DR: Beating BYU at home has been the most memorable experience so far. There were lots of fans supporting us and it was such a close, competitive match that when we won I was so proud to be a Bronco!
SCB: Is there anything you are looking forward to about beach volleyball or next fall's season?
DR: I'm really enjoying this sand season so far and am looking forward to our tournaments this month. We're fortunate to be able to play both indoor and sand volleyball. I'm also excited about the next fall indoor season because we have a lot of new people joining the team so it will be a new experience.
SCB: Although it's a ways off, how do you plan to train during the summer?
DR: This summer I plan on continuing to play lots of beach volleyball at home. I think staying active and touching the ball will be good training for the season. We also have team fitness goals that we need to achieve so I will for sure be slaving away practicing my double jumps and pushups!
SCB: What is something Santa Clara may not know about you or the women's volleyball team?
DR: Santa Clara may not know that Alyssa Anderson and Katy Schatzman are excellent chefs and cook me gourmet meals regularly.