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20 Questions With Kristen Kinder

1. Full name: Kristen Rose Kinder

2. Hometown: Fresno, California

3. Birth date: April 6, 1982

4. Major: Sociology and Computer Applications

5. Hardest Class: Scheme Programming

6. Favorite Class: American Fiction with Professor Gibley. I did not like all the reading, but the professor was good.

Biggest reason that you came to Notre Dame: I came here for the Volleyball. Head coach Debbie Brown has a strong reputation back home in California, and I wanted the opportunity to play for her.

8. If you could chose a cartoon character to describe yourself who would it be?: I would pick Spiderman. It was my favorite Halloween Costume! Also my club coach had the nickname Spiderman and he once gave me a Spiderman comic and told me that I could be as good as him one day.

9. Your greatest personal athletic moment: Winning nationals in the eighth grade with my club team. Being the best in the nation is hard to imagine but is amazing.

10. When I was younger I….. Was called “dirtball” because I was always outside getting into trouble with my sister, Jessica Kinder. I think that I probably caused more than enough trouble with my sister when I was younger.

11. How do you prepare for games?: I try to watch a lot of film on the opponent. I try to get familiar to the opposing teams block and I go over every rotation and visualize what offense I want to run against them. Just before the game I have some personal time where I go over the little things I want to do on the court and I try to be as clear headed as I can be heading into a game.

12.What is the one thing in your life you cannot live without?: I could not live without my sister. She is my best friend and is always there for me. I don’t have to try hard to be around her and picturing life without her is a scary thing.

13. What are your plans for life after Notre Dame?: I hope to play or at least try to play professional beach volleyball with my sister. There are qualifiers in different cities and we can try to get ranked. If that doesn’t work out I will most likely go back to school. Ideally I would like to live back in California.

14. What is the best advice you have ever been given?: “Don’t take yourself too seriously.” Damian, my ex-club coach, told me that. He is a super competitive person but he let me know that it was always ok to make mistakes as long as you are always trying. At that time in my career I was held back by mistakes and he helped me to get past being a total perfectionist.

15. Who is your favorite Notre Dame athletics teams other than your own?: Right now it would have to be the men’s swimmers. They are such good fans and have been supporting us since our match against North Carolina and they have been in the Joyce Center for the past few games. Anyone willing to run around in Speedos for us is worthy enough!

16. What do you attribute Notre Dame’s volleyball success towards so far this season?: We have the most talented squad that we have had since I have been here. In the past we have had the talent but now we are all willing to work. We have good people on this team and have an overall idea that we are not satisfied until we get to the top of our game. We keep getting better and better with each practice.

17. Who is your role model?: I would have to say my parents. I can’t think of two people I would rather be like. My mom is probably the most giving person in the world, and my dad, quite possibly, could be the nicest man in the world.

18. What is your favorite thing about playing for Notre Dame?: I love the fans during and especially after our games. It feels nice to have people come up to you and say, “You mean so much to me,” or “I love what you have done for the program.” It is nice to have people follow you and know that you go to a school like Notre Dame.

19. What will you miss most about being at Notre Dame?: I will miss my teammates the most. Especially this year, it feels like having twelve of my best friends around me all the time.

20. If you were on an island and you could only have one meal, only listen to one song and spend your time with only one person for the rest of your life what and who would you pick?:

For my meal it would definitely be the “Taco Vallarta Burrito” in Santa Cruz, CA. My song would be any song off the Ten album. Every song on the album is good and I love Eddie Vedder’s voice. I could always listen to it. As for my person, right now it would be Jeff Faine. He is my best friend and I can always be around him. I think he is also the only person who could tolerate me for that long!

Bonus: What has been most rewarding for you in your career here at Notre Dame, and describe the chemistry of the team and your expectations for the remainder of the season:

It has been rewarding to be a leader at a school like Notre Dame. As for the chemistry of our team, we are all very competitive people, but at the same time we are all best buddies. This understanding allows us to leave what happens on the court, on the court and still be friends off the court. We can be on each other all the time. For the rest of the season we hope to win the conference tournament this weekend and go as far as we can in the NCAA tournament. It would be nice to go out with no more losses!