April 16, 2012
The Huskies are in the midst of the spring practice season, and GoHuskies.com took the chance to talk with freshman defensive specialist Kim Condie before practice. Condie redshirted her first fall at UW, a tough adjustment for a player used to being at the center of the action on a prep team that won the California state title in 2010. Now, the Moraga, California native is mixing it up more at the libero spot alongside veterans Jenna Orlandini and Kelly Holford, and looking forward to making an impact this coming fall.
GoHuskies.com: Talk about the early spring practices and how excited you guys are to be back working in the gym together.
Kim Condie: Well I'm excited to start playing again because in the winter it's more about little technique things and just working out. We're actually getting back into playing games now which everyone is always excited about that. And it's exciting to get reps as libero now that I'm actually able to compete, it's awesome.
GH: Talk about last season coming in, what kinds of things did you work on? What kind of changes did the coaches ask you to make?
KC: Well it was nice because my club did gold medal squared, so I kind of knew the gist of it, but everyone has a little bit of different things. I'd never heard of tracking, and I'm still working on that now. Plus, staying forward, and not using my legs; I had never noticed how much I used my legs before, so just working on that. Just working on little things.
GH: Early in spring Jim has talked a lot about what you're `seeing' and the eye work. Is that something that you feel like is coming along well for you personally?
KC: Definitely improving. I've never been taught that before. Where you've got to see the ball as soon as the person hits it or watching their hand before they even hit it. It's definitely difficult but I mean, everyday you work on it and you improve.
GH: How much different do you feel this time around than coming in last fall?
KC: I would say I definitely feel more comfortable but I mean in order to improve you've always got to feel comfortable being uncomfortable. So I just make sure I'm always being uncomfortable in order to get better.
GH: You've got a couple quarters of classes now under your belt. Does it feel like this year has gone by fast?
KC: Yeah, it feels like this year has gone by so fast. I can't believe it's spring already and I'm almost done being a freshman. It's weird.
GH: Do you know yet what your summer plans are? Will you be going home this summer?
KC: Nope, I'll be staying here. I think we get like a week after finals and week right before we come back for preseason. But I'll be here, just hanging out with the team.
GH: Living in the dorms this year?
KC: Yeah, I'm rooming with a gymnast, Maddie (Podlucky), and we're actually going to live together next year, too. I'm really excited to move off campus, I love cooking, so I can't wait to have my own kitchen.
GH: What kind of classes have you taken this year? And do you know yet what kind of major you're looking towards?
KC: Well, yeah, I always wanted to major in business so I've taken two pre-business math classes and I've already taken micro economics so now I'm in macroeconomics and then I get to pick my best grades from certain classes and apply to the business school in a couple of quarters.
GH: What interests you about the business field?
KC: I just like the marketing field; I think it could be kind of fun. You get to be creative.
GH: Next season, knowing that your redshirt season is done, how different of a mentality to you think it will be coming into practice every day?
KC: I think it's going to be a lot different, especially as a freshman it's kind of held back. I think it will be exciting to just go all out and not hold back at all."
GH: How tough was it this fall just knowing you're just kind of in a supporting role on match day?
KC: It was rough, mostly because I'm not used to that. I mean I played on varsity as a freshman in high school and I've always played on club. It has been kind of different; I've really missed being out there. I still loved being on the team and didn't regret anything.
GH: Were there any kind of surprises or real challenges during the fall that you maybe weren't expecting?
KC: I kind of came in expecting it to be super hard, because everyone always says how hard collegiate athletics are. It was definitely hard doing academics at the same time as traveling, and the tournaments and missing lots of classes. You've got to make sure you keep your grades up.
GH: You guys have a lot of returners back in the spring right now. What do you think the team vibe is right now?
KC: I think it's good. We're all super excited to get back playing a little, working out butts off, and the coaches seem to be happy with what we're doing, so it's good.
GH: When did you first start playing volleyball?
KC: I started playing in 7th grade. I was on a traveling softball team and then I decided to switch to volleyball.
GH: Did you pick it up pretty quickly? Were you successful right away?
KC: Yeah, my mom played volleyball so I already kind of knew the gist of the sport. I just decided to do it for fun and I ended up loving it. There was no turning back.
GH: Your team won the state title senior year. Did you ever go up against other girls that are playing Pac-12?
KC: I've seen a couple that I recognize, but I actually noticed more when we played Fresno State because there were girls from my area. I saw Krista (Vansant) once at a tournament, but we didn't play them. I just knew that girl was going to Washington.
GH: What do you like to do whenever you have any free time?
KC: Well now that it's sunny we are all talking about wanting to go down to the beach at Alki and going down to the docks. Whenever we get some time off we're going to go try to do that. Or go downtown. I've only gone down there twice since I've been here.
GH: Since fans haven't had a chance to see you play yet, if you had to describe the strengths of your game, what would you say?
KC: It would definitely be defense. I need to work on passing, because passing is more important. It can be frustrating but I'm always working on it. Same with serving. My serve has had so many changes since I've been here. I'm finally getting more confident with just doing the same thing over and over again, and more comfortable.
GH: Is it to the point where you're starting to be a little more vocal in practice? Freshmen usually tend to be a little quieter that first year.
KC: Yeah, (volunteer assistant Tom Murphy) is always getting on me about being loud. Pretending like I'm back in club, where I was the leader. Yeah, definitely working on being louder.