Delaney Knudsen, a senior on
the women's beach volleyball team, has a great track record. She was part of
the 2014 AVCA national championship team, helped lead the team to win the
inaugural 2016 West Coast Conference Tournament crown and is a three-time
Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete. With the season now here, Delaney talks about what
she's looking forward to and how her four years on the team has been:
Q: Since you're so close to the start of the season what are you looking forward to most?
A: I am really looking forward to competition. There is a special feeling when you get to actually compete and represent your school that is impossible to recreate in practice and I can't wait for it.
Q: How does it feel to be heading into your senior year as a Wave?
A: It's a very unique feeling to be in my senior year. I feel like just yesterday I was a freshman because the time has flown, but at the same time I know that I have grown and learned so much over the past four years that have made me a very different person!
Q: What are you looking forward to and most excited about as you head into your senior year on the team?
A: I am definitely most excited about the team we have this season. We have a lot of new girls and the dynamic on our team is just amazing this year. It's been awesome grinding with them all of fall and preseason, and I'm excited to take on all the challenges and victories of this season with all of them.
Q: How is the team playing so far?
A: I'm stoked at how everyone is playing this year! The level of hard work and competitive drive has been so high and we've all seen a lot of improvement. It's been a very motivating and rewarding year as far as training goes and I can't wait to see how that translates when the season comes.
Q: Was there a lot of playing in the off-season to prepare for the upcoming season?
A: We have done a lot of competing this off-season to keep us prepared for the season, notably more than in previous years, and it has been so great. We compete in a variety of different formats, but it keeps everyone fired up and working hard and it's been a major contributor to the motivation I feel on our team.
Q: You have lots of new faces on the team this year -- how are they fitting in?
A: I honestly could not have asked for a better group of newcomers this year. Both our freshmen and the transfers we got have fit in perfectly with our team. They each added their own unique sense of humor or fire to the mix and have only improved the team dynamic and culture.
Q: How are they changing the overall team dynamic? What's it been like?
A: I think that the addition of some new fifth-year transfers has been awesome because they bring the high standards that they have learned over their careers at other colleges that keep us accountable, but they also have this attitude of humble hard work, being new to our program, that is an amazing example to the rest of us too. Our freshmen are new to the standards and challenges of being a student-athlete, but they have all embraced it with 100% commitment and it has been so awesome and inspiring to see their improvement over the past few months.
Q: What is it like to have Zuma Beach as a home court? How is it different and what do you like about it?
A: I love Zuma Beach! I could not ask for a better home court. It's absolutely gorgeous every single day, and with a 2-6 p.m. practice block we are usually cleaning up the courts as the sun sets and it's just beautiful. Weather is a huge factor playing on the beach as opposed to the man-made courts that other schools have. It's a huge advantage to be able to train in all the elements when they come, and to still have a handful of perfect days too.
Q: What's your favorite memory with the team?
A: I think my favorite memory with this team so far was bonding over our fall conditioning tests. The format of our workout was such that everyone had to be giving their maximum effort, and it was done in two waves so there was always someone cheering you on. It was really cool to have the opportunity to push my teammates to reach their goals and to also feel their support while I was working my hardest to reach mine. It set a high standard of mutual support and effort for the rest of the off-season that has been met over and over again.
Q: What's your favorite memory of playing so far?
A: My favorite memory playing so far has to be winning a national championship my freshman year. Nothing compares to that feeling and I'm going to do everything I can to help my team earn that again this year.