Spring Spotlight: Kendall Bateman
April 21, 2009
USCTrojans.com caught up with Kendall Bateman, who talked about her freshman season last year with the women's volleyball program.
USCTrojans.com: What was the first thing in your mind when you found out that you would take over as the No. 1 setter for the 2009 season?
KB: I realized that there was a huge amount of responsibility being handed over to me, but I was really excited and willing to take on the role. I still have to compete and improve every day in order to gain the position because it is definitely not just going to be handed over. Being part of such a driving team and seeing the support and confidence our team has developed, makes me wish the season was starting tomorrow. With the rich volleyball tradition at USC, it's an honor to be part of this team and I can't wait to help the team next fall.
USCTrojans.com: How valuable was your experience in the NCAA Tournament last year?
KB: My experience in the NCAA tournament last year was extremely valuable in that it helped me realize the amount of competition there is in every level of the tournament. Personally, it helped me realize where I need to be in order to help our team get to the next level next year. The experience of the tournament last year also made me realize how much I want to go with my team to the Final Four and win a national championship.
USCTrojans.com: What is the one thing you want to work on in the off season?
KB: One aspect I want to work on during the off season is getting stronger. Having a strong core and developing my leg strength will be a necessity in order to do well in the fall as well. Everyone has been working hard in the weight room and on the court, which helps a lot because I know my teammates are there with me. We have always had an emphasis on having a team-driven squad rather than a coach-driven team so we've realized that it is essential to motivate ourselves to work hard and drive every day no matter what task we are doing.
USCTrojans.com: How is the team chemistry through the spring?
KB: Our team chemistry is awesome. We all really care about each other and we're close friends off the court as well. We're lucky because the chemistry isn't forced and we enjoy hanging out with each other. Having team chemistry is so important within a team because trust is developed that is essential when any team faces adversity. We all hang out outside of volleyball and have created closer friendships throughout the spring. Between our coaches and teammates, it's like our own volleyball family within the USC family which makes me feel so privileged to be part of the program that has girls and coaches like we do.
USCTrojans.com: With your first year at USC, is it everything you thought it would be? what is different than what you thought?
KB: It's more. I wouldn't trade it for anything because I honestly love it here. From the volleyball aspect, to my classes, to activities on campus and to the fact of just being a Trojan, it has already been more than I could ever ask for. I enjoy going to class and I love the overall school environment. One of my professors quoted a friend who described SC as 'the most laid-back yet focused school' he has ever been a part of and I couldn't say it any better. I also realized that the Trojan Family is very real. I didn't believe how many people were part of it until I started hearing people saying 'Fight On' everywhere I went. I can't imagine a better place to go to school and play volleyball because it honestly IS a family here.
USCTrojans.com: What makes the Pac-10 Conference one of the toughest conferences in the nation?
KB: The Pac-10 has the best coaches and players from top to bottom in the country. Teams compete in every match which makes being a part and watching the matches very exciting. It's one of the toughest conferences in the nation because everyone is going to put up a fight no matter what the rankings. Therefore, there are no 'easy' matches since every match is going to be a battle.