March 1, 2007

Q & A With Brianna Anderson

March 1, 2007

Sophomore Brianna Anderson has been a key contributor for the Santa Clara women's water polo team in 2007. Coming of a weekend in which Anderson scored eight goals helping the Broncos to two overtime victories at the UC Irvine Invitational, we sat down with Brianna to talk about how the 2007 season is going so far.

You are now in your second water polo season. What is your most memorable experience as a member of SCU's water polo team?
For the duration of my time here, my most memorable moments have been beating top ranked teams for the first time in school's history.  Taking 3rd in the WWPA last year was probably the biggest high-light.  It's something we've never done before and it was a big accomplishment from a team standpoint.

Out of the 14 games the team has played this season, you have scored one or more goals in 11 of them.  Do you have any pre-game rituals that are the secret to your success?
It sounds stupid, but I get a Starbucks tea or a Jamba Juice and listen to a pump-up mix I made while I stretch.

What's your favorite song on the mix?
"Fighter" by Christina Aguilera.

Who would you say has been the most influential person in your water polo career?
I would say my coach has had a big impact on me.  For the first time in my career, I'm having fun while I'm playing, it's not like a job anymore.  I really respect the fact that he let's everyone on the team do their own thing, which really brings a different dynamic to playing.  Also, every girl on my team has had a different impact on me in one way or another, whether it's a pep talk when my shots aren't exactly on cage or just a talk over coffee about our personal lives.

It sounds like all of you girls are really close.  Is there anything in particular you do for team bonding?
We're really good about having team dinners.  The captains host one at the beginning of the year and we come up with team goals in or out of the pool.  Also, as a team we watch Grey's Anatomy--we're pretty obsessed.  You can pretty much find us in a few locations on Thursday nights.  We have been known to get Yumi Yogurt beforehand.

McDreamy, McSteamy, Alex, Burke, or George?
I guess I'd have to say McDreamy because he always says the right thing.  I like that because I don't think men like him exist!

You guys are on the road virtually every weekend.  What has been your worst experience on a road trip?
I guess I would have to say last year at Slugfest.  It was almost snowing--FREEZING.  We couldn't see five feet ahead of us in the pool because of steam.  It wasn't bad, but it was cold.

Being from Southern California, you're not used to the cold weather at all.  What attracted you to Santa Clara?
I was primarily drawn to Santa Clara for the opportunity to play division one water polo.  I really liked what our coach had to offer and thought Santa Clara was a great place to get a great education.  At first I didn't want to come this far, because I'm a homebody. But the more time I spend here, the more I like it.

If you were to participate in one reality TV show, which would it be?
I guess it would have to be Survivor because it doesn't really fit my personality.  I'm such a team oriented person, so leaving me on an island alone would be funny.

What are your goals before you graduate from SCU?
Academically, I want to get my degree in Liberal Studies and finish my Urban Education and Communications double minor.  In terms of water polo, a dream of mine has always been to be All-American.  I don't know if it's feasible, but it's definitely a dream.  Personally, I just want to be there for my team and support my teammates.  I want to make sure that I am always there for any of the girls.

In the first home game of the season, you defeated Cal State Northridge, a team you had lost to less than a week earlier.  How much of a factor was the crowd in the team's success?
I can speak on behalf of my team and say that playing at home and having your peers cheer you on brings a completely different aspect to the game.  It just makes it more fun--I mean, we have a blast already--it just drives us more.

So far, your team has shown that they have great talent and potential, as evident in some big wins this season.  What further improvements need to take place in order for the team to continue to succeed?
Like all teams, as the season goes on we'll naturally improve.  Everyone has their little things they want to and will improve and that alone will make a big difference.  I just kind of have the mentality of one game at a time and go from there.

You guys had two pretty exciting overtime wins this weekend over UC San Diego and Long Beach State.  How did that feel?
Sunday was a great day. Two overtime wins against two ranked teams, especially when they're seeded ahead of us, gives us a little push to take it to them.  As a team we really pulled together, executing plays and playing great.

Slugfest is your first tournament against a lot of conference opponents. What are your expectations for the team's performance this weekend?
They're important games that will effect they way we're seated in the conference tournament.  We really need to come out strong in all of our games.  Davis will probably be our strongest opponent, but our team is good about never underestimating a team. We need to continue to come out strong right away and play physical.  Then everything else will follow.