PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

Athlete takes on two sports

Kristin Ratzlaff, 19, has been playing sports since she was very young. As a third-grader growing up in Corvallis, Ore., she began to take an interest in volleyball and golf.

Her commitment to sports continued into high school, where she lettered for four years in golf and volleyball and for two years in basketball for Cresent Valley High School.

This is Ratzlaff’s second year at PSU, where she continues to juggle multiple sports and schoolwork. She is majoring in general science and hopes to go into physical therapy after graduation. Ratzlaff will join the golf team in the spring and is currently playing her second season of volleyball under head coach Jeff Mozzochi.

“Playing golf started out as kind of a joke,” Ratzlaff said. “But Jeff (Mozzochi) thought it would be a good way for me to take my mind off of volleyball. We never really have time off, and it gets overwhelming if you let it.”

������ The Viking team is often required to devote six days a week to volleyball, spending three to four hours a day either playing or practicing.

Ratzlaff’s 2001 freshman season was a successful one. She was one of only two Vikings to play in every game of the season.

She started in 16 out of 20 games, averaged 1.96 digs per game and had double-double totals in five matches.

This season has not been going very smoothly for the Vikings. They have struggled in recent matches, losing seven out of their last eight games. Ratzlaff is still optimistic about her team’s prospects.

“It hasn’t been easy. It is a little frustrating, but I think we’re learning a lot about what we need to get better,” she said. “Every game that we’ve lost, we thought we should have won, and that wasn’t the case last year. Our sports psychologist, Tim Brugman, says that ‘Both winning and losing can be cycles. It just takes more effort to get out of a losing cycle.'”

While Ratzlaff really enjoys her time spent playing sports, she admits that it is sometimes hard to keep up with the rigorous schedule of games and practices.

“It really is hard when we travel,” she said, “Friday-Saturday matches there is no rebound travel time. We’ve actually driven up to gyms two hours before the game starts. Thursday-Saturday games are just as bad because we miss school. I usually study on the plane, that’s really all you can do.”

The Vikings travel to California to take on Sacramento State on Thursday, Oct. 17. They will travel to Arizona for a game against Arizona State on Oct. 19.