The NCDA has been recognizing players that make a statement on the court through their skills, leadership, and ability to mobilize a team, and oftentimes, these teams are greatly influenced by their female players. This month, we are recognizing Danielle Kubbe for the NCDA’s December Women’s Baller of the Month. Content Member Kathryn Mays took some time to interview this star player; take a look at the interview below:
Kathryn: First off, congratulations on this recognition! The NCDA introduced the Women’s Baller of the Month this season to recognize the efforts women have on the court. I must say, your performance at the Dr. Peter Broe Classic was super impressive and wowed NCDA leadership.
First off, how does it feel to be selected?
Danielle: Thank you! It’s a real honor to be selected as Women’s Baller of the Month in a league filled with so much talent! It definitely makes the work I put in at practice feel like it’s paying off!
K: It is absolutely paying off! What made you choose SVSU, what do you study, and what do you enjoy most about it?
D: I study finance at SV. The size of the university as well as the student count played a major role in my decision. I really enjoy the smaller class sizes, as well as all of the clubs offered here!
K: What made you join (and stick with) the dodgeball club? Were you expecting a certain ball type?
D: I joined dodgeball after two friends of mine played for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. I went to watch a few tournaments and decided to give it a try. I had never played any co-ed sports so I was pretty hesitant in the beginning. Getting thrown at was intimidating! Everyone on the team was so welcoming and helpful though, so it made it a really good experience. Prior to dodgeball at SVSU I have never played dodgeball, I had no clue there were different ball types!
K: Did you play any sports in high school? If so, how do you think those skills helped prepare you for dodgeball?
D: I played softball, and volleyball, as well as bowled in high school. The skills I learned in these sports help a lot when it comes to dodgeball. Specifically, the teamwork involved in each of them! Each sport taught me I cannot win alone, it takes the entire team.
K What part of dodgeball has been the hardest to learn? Maybe on an individual level, as a team, your strategy, etc.?
D: Throwing has 100% been the most difficult for me to learn. I focused on that for a long time before I realized I don’t necessarily have to throw the “hardest”. I shifted my focus to catching and strategy and found out that’s how I can best help my team!
K: Talking to your captain, Cole Machiela, he shared one of your greatest strengths has been clutch catching. Are you more of a defensive player?
D: I would agree with Cole! Catching is my strong suit by far, so I would say I am more of a defensive player for sure.
K: Which player do you look up to most on the team (or within the league) and why?
D: I look up to Cole Machiela for sure. Not only for his leadership but his ability to move on quickly after a play, bad or good, and reset immediately ready for whatever is next!
K: Now, that you’ve been in the league for 2 years, which matches have been the most fun to play in? Which teams would you like to play in the future?
D: I have really enjoyed every match I’ve gotten to play, but the Peter Broe Classic is one I look forward to! I always look forward to playing GV – the energy from their team makes them enjoyable to play! I would like to play Kent State in the future!
K: What number will you be wearing this season? Why?
D: I wear number 27, this is the number I stuck with all through high school sports so it just felt right to wear it for dodgeball too!
K: What are your pre- and post-tournament meals?
D: Before a tournament, I like to play it safe and stick with something simple like a granola bar. Afterward, it’s typically a restaurant near wherever the tourney was held!
K: If you had to describe your play style as an animal, what would it be and why?
D: I would describe my play style as a crocodile!! Crocodiles sit and wait for their prey, which is what I think of the way I kind of sit and wait for a catch.
K: How does it feel to be a female dodgeball player? Do you have any advice for rookie women?
D: Being a female dodgeball player is honestly super cool! I wish I hadn’t spent time being intimidated by the co-ed part of college dodgeball, especially now that I like that it’s a mixed league. This is for sure something I would mention to rookie women. I’d remind them to not let the guys scare them off, and to also not let anyone “throw easy” at them just because we’re women.
K: Awesome. Congratulations again on this recognition – you earned it! Can’t wait to see you playing this spring.