Up Close and Personal with Three Hawaiian Broncos
Feb. 28, 2002
Janalle Kaloi is a freshman on the women's tennis team, while Chris Lam is a newcomer in the men's program, sharing court space with junior Michael Bruggemann. The trio recently took the time to discuss play here vs. play in Hawaii, their native home. The players also share about their plans for spring break, pre-match rituals, and fun nicknames.
Q. How did you develop an interest in tennis?
Chris: My dad played tennis so I grew up around it. He was always playing so from a very young age I was always at the courts and I just picked it up.
Mike: Same thing, my dad played too. I'd always go out with him and I always wanted to play and finally he let me.
Janalle: My grandpa got me and my sister started.
Q. What is the biggest difference you have noticed in the level of play in your transition from Hawaii to here at Santa Clara?
Chris: Everyone here is really competitive, they try really hard. In Hawaii it's not as competitive, there aren't as many people so it is not as big of a field.
Mike: That basically sums it up.
Q. Chris and Janalle, did having Mike here, a native from Hawaii, have any influence on you coming to Santa Clara?
Chris: Suuuuure. He gave me some useful insight on the ins and outs up here, which may have led to some part.
Mike: (Laughs) I practically recruited Chris.
Janalle: I talked to his mom about coming here actually. And, Mike's been my role model ever since I was little. (Laughs)
Q. Mike, being one of the first members on the team from Hawaii, do you think you have opened any doors of interest for other players in Hawaii who want to play at the collegiate level here at Santa Clara?
Mike: Now that Sean has Chris and I here, he has the inside track to the best potential because of us. I came here by chance and I think that a lot of coaches don't look to Hawaii and now Sean (Burns-head coach) has kind of an edge on everyone else.
Q. Did you know in high school that you wanted to leave Hawaii and attend school in another state?
Chris: I always knew that I wanted to go to the mainland for college.
Janalle: I was not sure. I was about 50/50.
Mike: I always wanted to leave. Being there so long I needed a change.
Q. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
Chris: I listen to music.
Mike: Actually Chris does something funny. He types on a piece of paper all his little tips for his matches and then prints it out and he has it by his bag and every time before his match he reads it.
Chris: Oh yeah, that too, and the music.
Mike: So while he's listening to the music he reading his paper that he printed out. But, I don't really have one.
Janalle: I know this is weird, but I have to have a Diet Coke before every match.
Q. What are some aspects of your game that you are currently working on?
Chris: Holding serve.
Mike: Holding my serve, also.
Janalle: I have to say my serve in general and my transition game in coming to the net.
Q. Do you have any plans for spring break?
Chris: We are going down to USD with the tennis team and we are going to be playing a lot of matches down there.
Mike: I would go home if I had one. I did go home my sophomore year.
Janalle: We are going down to LMU, and then I am meeting my family in Las Vegas.
Q. What is something you are really looking forward to spring quarter?
Mike: I'm looking forward to the weather change. Actually it's starting to change already.
Chris: I am looking forward to some warmer weather because this winter has been kind of brutal.
Janalle: I'm also looking forward to my new classes.
Q. Having no professional sports teams that represent Hawaii, do you feel that there is less of an emphasis on sports in Hawaii than there is, say in California where there are multiple pro teams in the Bay Area alone?
Janalle: I think the big college like UH puts a big emphasis on that. Our volleyball and football games are pretty big. People who don't even go to the school, such as families, get really into going to the games.
Mike: The University of Hawaii sports are big. I'm a huge fan. I watch their stuff on the Internet whenever I can.
Chris: There is a definite emphasis on college sports, not professional sports. Here, the professional teams are a lot bigger than the collegiate teams, but in Hawaii it is the collegiate teams that have a larger role.
Q. Is there an athlete you looked up to while growing up?
Chris: Besides Mike? I would say Andre Agassi because he just came on about the time I was getting into tennis.
Janalle: I would have to say Jennifer Capriati just because she made that big turn-around. She grew up in front of everybody.
Mike: My dad because he taught me how to play ever since I was little. I was always out there learning from him. When I got older, even if he wasn't my coach, he would always tell me things that would help me.
Q. Where is one place in the world you would like to visit?
Mike: I have no idea. I like Hawaii.
Q. How would you compare the beaches here to the beaches in Hawaii?
Chris: The beaches in Hawaii are much better. The water in Hawaii is warm.
Mike: The beaches here are trash. You can't surf here because it is just too cold.
Janalle: I don't even go to the beaches here.
Q. What is your favorite movie?
Chris: The Fast and the Furious.
Janalle: I'm not really sure. I really like movies. I like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Mike: Mine is Rudy.
Q. Mike and Chris, I talked with Taylor and Francisco earlier in the season and they informed me that everyone on the team has a nickname, what are yours?
Chris: Mike's nickname is Ruthie.
Mike: His name is Dirty.
Q. How did you get those nicknames?
Chris: Everyone just started calling me that. I'm not really sure why.
Mike: Unfortunately for me, Ruthie was a member of the Real World Hawaii, and since I'm from there I got stuck with it. However, in no way do my actions reflect her behavior.
Q. Janalle, does the women's tennis team have nicknames for each other?
Janalle: They started to call me Fiver. Pretty much everyone has a nickname.
Q. Is there anything else you want your fans to know about you?
Chris: We need more support at the home matches so come out.