By: Gabe Taylor '12
Almost one year after suffering a season-ending injury, Katherine Douglas (KD) is back in her hard-hitting form. During her freshman year, Douglas took on the appearance of a veteran, recording 281 kills and 252 digs in 29 matches. As a red-shirt sophomore, Douglas, who spent part of her summer competing in Beijing, is prepared to suit up as a Bronco and take to the court once again. Douglas sat down with SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) to discuss her previous injury, the trip to Beijing, and what the upcoming season might look like.
SCB: What originally made you decide to start playing volleyball?
KD: I started playing in fifth grade. My sister was playing and my mom was coaching our middle school, so I just started when I was really young. I started playing club probably in sixth grade and just kept playing since then.
SCB: Your sister played volleyball at UCLA. How was it growing up with a fellow volleyball player?
KD: It was actually really fun. I got to play with her for one year in high school: my freshman year and her senior year. That was awesome. I always kind of looked up to her as a volleyball player since she was older, so I really enjoyed it.
SCB: After suffering the injury in the 2010 preseason, what was going through your head at that time? Did you originally think you would be able to play through it?
KD: I did. I planned on playing through it. I thought I would heal more and be able to play through the season. But it just wasn't worth it to me, because I could have ended up playing only one game in the whole season and making it worse, and then not have played the entire season. For me, I just thought in the long run…down the road I want to go play overseas, so having an extra year will just make me that much better.
SCB: What was it like having to sit out for most the season?
KD: It was very tough. I'm not the kind of player that can sit out. More than anything in the world, I hate watching my team play, or run, or workout. I've never been hurt. I had sprained my ankle maybe once or twice and that was it; I'm not used to sitting out at all. It was really tough on me. I came to every practice and watched. I still learned a lot just watching practice and listening to coaches and watching workouts, but it was really tough not being able to do anything.
SCB: As a spectator did you get a different perspective on the game?
KD: It was really helpful actually being able to watch every practice and every game. It is a different point of view than when you're on the court, so that was helpful to my game.
SCB: This summer you played in Beijing. What were you able to take away from that experience?
KD: Playing in Beijing was an amazing experience. It was such a good opportunity for Kayla (Lommori) and I. We played probably seven matches and did a lot of sightseeing. Just playing out of the country was such a cool experience. It was something I'll hopefully get to do again; I want to. Being able to play with different players and girls that I've never played with before from all over the U.S. with different personalities was just really fun.
SCB: Last season the team finished .500 at 14-14. What do you think the team needs to do to get over the hump and come out on the positive end?
KD: This year we're all just that much older and more mature. The junior class is huge this year, so I think that will be very beneficial for us. We have a big upper class now so I think that's going to be helpful.
SCB: What do you think the team's capable of doing this season?
KD: We're definitely capable of winning the WCC and going to the NCAA Tournament.