By Sara Vierra 15'
Initially thinking she would be a basketball player for Santa Clara University (SCU), Julia Peters has become a paramount player on the Bronco's women's water polo team. Peters began swimming at a young age, and started playing competitive water polo when she turned eight.
Peter's came on stronger than ever this season, leading the Broncos in goals, steals and attempts. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) talked with Peters to find out more about her season and time so far as a Bronco.
SCB: At what age did you being to play water polo? Was it your first sport?
JP: I did a water polo camp when I was 8 and then started playing year round shortly after that. I started swimming when I was really little and then I played basketball and volleyball. As I got older, I found that playing a sport where I could fall is not the best for me.
SCB: Do you like that you and all of your siblings participate in the same type of sport?
JP: It's fun to have siblings that play similar sports. My sister played water polo and I always looked up to her and still do for advice. My twin brother is a swimmer and even though we don't play the same sport, it was always nice to know that I had a swimming partner whenever I needed one. I do have an older brother that does not like water, so only 3/4 of us have the water loving gene.
SCB: At what point did you know you wanted to come to Santa Clara University? Did you always know that you would play water polo at the collegiate level?
JP: I came to a lot of basketball games with my grandpa and family, so I have always loved the school. I always told my parents when I was younger that I was going to go to Santa Clara and play basketball. When I became more serious about water polo, I had no doubt about playing at the collegiate level. I looked at schools around the country and ended up coming on a recruiting trip to Santa Clara and I knew right then that it was the perfect fit for me.
SCB: What was your first season like as a Bronco? Was it hard to balance athletics, academics, and a social life?
JP: This first season was amazing. After being out for so long with so many injuries, I was questioning why I was actually playing water polo. But when I started playing again, I fell right back in love with it. I was able to balance athletics and academics during season because those were my top two priorities. In all honesty, though, I could not keep a social life during season, sleep often prevailed hanging out with friends.
SCB: How has the rehabilitation process been going? Did you find that your injury conflicted with your play this season?
JP: The rehabilitation process for concussions is pretty short. The hardest part is getting back into shape after not being able to exercise for multiple months. I had to modify the way I played which was rough in the beginning. I had to learn to keep my head above water and be extra aware of my surroundings at all times. I wear a martial arts helmet in practice and rugby helmets underneath my caps in games to prevent getting anymore concussions. It took me a while to not be embarrassed when I put them on. But other than that, it did not conflict with my play this season.
SCB: Do you enjoy going to school so close to home?
JP: I love going to school so close to home! Whenever I need a home cooked meal or cuddling session with my dogs, it's just right down the street. Last year it was helpful when I got injured to be able to go home and relax away from school. It is also extra special to see my family and especially my grandpa in the stands at every home game.
SCB: What are you looking forward to most in your years to come at SCU both athletically and socially?
JP: Athletically, I hope I can remain healthy and able to play for my years to come at SCU. Our team is a pretty young team so I am excited to see how far we will grow in the next few years! Socially, I am looking forward to meeting many more different types of people and making life long friends. There is a statistic out there saying that a high percentage of students meet their spouses at SCU. Let's just say that I am not opposed to that.