Up Close & Personal with Katy Shumm

Jan. 23, 2003

Katy Shumm is a sophomore on the SCU water polo team. A driver from Menlo Park, Shumm recently sat down to discuss her water polo career and some fun facts including her nickname and her all-time favorite ice cream.

When did you start playing water polo?
Katy: I started playing water polo my freshman year of high school. I did it because my sister played and it was something new, it was only the second year of varsity at my high school. I just played for the fun of it and then I started playing every summer and winter.

What aspects of the game of water polo do you like the most and the least?
Katy: I think I like the aggressiveness the most because it is really a contact sport. We can get really aggressive when we play really hard and intensity is really key in the game. I think my least favorite part is the eggbeaters and the no floor, because in every other sport you get to run and with water polo there is definitely a lot of swimming.

How are things going with your new coach?
Katy: I really like Keith. I think he is really organized and is really helping out the program a lot. He has a lot to bring, so I really like him.

What is something you are looking forward to this season?
Katy: I am looking forward to us working together more as a team. We did last year, but it was my freshman year so I was still getting used to playing with other new girls. I think this year we are really small in number so we are able to work really well together. And I want to see us definitely make it to the championship round of our league.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Katy: One pre-game ritual is when we shoot, right before we come, in I have to make five before I come for the team talk before the game starts.

Tell me about a memorable water polo moment.
Katy: I think my most memorable moment would have to be last year when we beat Bakersfield in the WWWPA Tournament and it put us into fourth place. We lost to them before and they are the most aggressive team we face, the most difficult team in our league, so it was good to beat them.

Why did you decide to come to Santa Clara?
Katy: I came to Santa Clara because I really liked Steve, the old coach. He seemed like he had a lot going for water polo, but I came mostly because of the school and the size of it. I didn't want a big school just because academics are just too hard if you are in a class of 800. I really liked the academics and the school size.

Have you declared yet?
Katy: I haven't. I'm thinking either Psychology or Communications, but I'm leaning more towards Psychology.

Who has been an influential person in your life?
Katy: I think it would have to be my high school water polo coach, Randy Whitchurch, because he taught me how to be a team player and be good at water polo, but also be good in life and friends and everything else that has to deal with outside of water polo. He is kind of like a father figure. I was on his team for summer and we traveled and went to Hawaii together, we've just been really close.

Do you have a nickname?
Katy: It's kind of funny because everyone calls me ShummNation because I abbreviate a lot of my words. So, everyone on my team thinks I am going to grow up and write for Seventeen magazine and it is going to be called ShummNation, but I don't think so. Otherwise, they call me Shumm, my last name.

If you could have your mom make you one meal what would it be?
Katy: I think it would have to be Gnocchi with garlic bread.

What is your favorite ice cream?
Katy: Cookie Dough for sure.

Where is one place in the world you would love to visit?
Katy: I would love to visit Australia because I've never been there and I think that it is a gorgeous country. I was going to go abroad there, but not anymore.

Have you started making plans for spring break yet?
Katy: Well, spring break is kind of filled with water polo. I'll be in L.A. everyday from the Friday we get out till the Saturday before we start school. It will be good because at least we get to play and we are in L.A. and we have a couple of days off where we get to be a team and travel around L.A. together; go to the beach, it will be warm.

Is there anything else you would like your fans to know?
Katy: It's free to come to the games!