Women's volleyball is in the midst of a fantastic season, with a record of 23-3 overall and 8-3 in conference. That's an impressive feat for 14 women who are also committed to high academic achievement. Like all student athletes, volleyball teammates Kandiss Anderson '13 and Amber Tatsch '13 juggle the challenges of school and sport every day.
Both communication studies majors are committed to their team and individual academic goals, and they believe that their experience as a student athlete is preparing them for success after graduation.
"My education gives me the information and intellectual knowledge that I need to apply and solve issues that I will face after college. While my time on the court teaches me valuable skills such as communication, work ethic and determination," said Anderson.
Like many student athletes in the college, both women have chosen to major in communication studies. Coupled with USD's broad core curriculum, it provides a solid foundation for a number of career options.
"I couldn't be more grateful for my experience as a student athlete. I love having the athletic community behind me. There is so much support from the staff and from my fellow athletes. It has truly enhanced my experience at USD."
Amber Tatsch '13
"I am not sure what I want to do upon graduation," Tatsch said. "So I decided to study something broad, to keep my options open. I love talking; I love writing; I love people, so communication seemed like the best way to go."
Anderson puts her communication skills to work as the host of a weekly video series, titled "Straight Up Volleyball." In it, she takes viewers behind the scenes of practice, on the road and during down time. Her goal is to provide fans with a look at "funny memories, pre-game rituals or quirks that people do not usually see on regular sports videos." She said she has considered a career in broadcasting, but she is open to all avenues of media.
"I love people and I am also interested in marketing or some sort of media-based field, so it has been great taking classes based around media and how messages are interpreted," Anderson said. "Plus, the professors at USD are top notch and it is a pleasure to be in class with them." Outside of the classroom, Tatsch is grateful for the close camaraderie she feels with the USD athletic community.
"As a student athlete, I am always going, going, going, but I love it. I do miss other school experiences and events, because I am traveling or practicing. However, I also get to experience the unity of all USD athletes. I have a huge group of people that empathize with what I'm going through and fighting for, and also act as a huge support group."
Kandiss Anderson '13
"I couldn't be more grateful for my experience as a student athlete," she said. "I love having the athletic community behind me. There is so much support from the staff and from my fellow athletes. It has truly enhanced my experience at USD."
Both women said that some of their fondest memories and dearest friendships have been developed in their time as student athletes.
"The overall thing that I appreciate the most is being surrounded by a group of people who are passionate and driven toward the same goal that I am," Anderson said. "I would not trade it for anything and I am so grateful for the opportunity."
Tatsch echoes this sentiment. "I would have to say the best thing about being a part of this program is my team," Tatsch said. "It's my family away from home."
- Anne Malinoski '11