Eight Electrifying Questions

Kristin Richards is legitimately one of the best all-around players in the nation. The junior outside hitter led the Pac-10 a year ago with 22 double-doubles (kills and digs) and already has amassed eight in '05. Richards and #3 Stanford face #2 Washington at Maples Pavilion on Saturday in the match of the year. After you get to know Richards off the court, your incentive to attend will multiply.

1. How did you spend your summer?

I was with the U.S. national team for about half the summer.  I went to Switzerland with the National Team, and then they released me for about a week because my sister [current BYU setter Lauren Evans] got married.  So I got to go home and see my family, which was really cool.  I went straight from the wedding to Asia.  I traveled to China for a week, Korea for a week, and then Thailand for a week; flew through Tokyo, went to LA and then went back to Utah.  I was at home for about two weeks with my family, and then I went to Long Beach to hang out with Cynthia [Barboza].  Down there, we hung out for a week and then we drove up here together.  It was a really busy summer, but it was one of the most fun summers I've had in my life.

Sounds like you traveled a lot!  Did you have a favorite place?

Switzerland always takes the cake for me because we stay in the most beautiful surroundings.  We stayed in Montreaux, and I've been there once before with the national team.  The hotel we stayed in was right on a big Swiss lake, surrounded by beautiful Swiss mountains.  It was the most beautiful little community ever.  It was really cool.

Did you get a chance to go hiking or anything like that?  Or was it mostly just volleyball?

It was mostly just volleyball.  The coaches actually took us to the Jungfraujoch, the highest altitude points in Switzerland.  We went straight up a mountain to get there, and it was really cool.

Your sister got married this summer.  Were you in the wedding?

I was one of the bridesmaids.  There were six of us.  We all dressed up, did the whole standard bridesmaid thing.  It was really, really beautiful.  My sister was beautiful; it was perfect and she looked stunning.  It was cool to come home and see all my family members who I haven't seen a long time.

2. Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes?

H&M.  Have you heard of it?

I have.

It's based out of London.  There's none in California at all.  There's supposed to be one in San Francisco…

As far as I know, the only H&M store in the U.S. is in New York…

There's a couple in Chicago, and there's one in Boston.  We've been to both of them.  But other than that, it's just New York, Chicago, and Boston.

They have a lot of nice, cheap clothes.

Oh, I'm all about the sales!  I'll go shop at normal places, but it's all about the sales.

What do you normally wear to school?

A lot of sweats.  A lot of basketball shorts.  It's a really rare occasion that I get dressed up for school - let's put it that way.

So you're more into the casual look more than anything else – it's more about comfort?


3. What is your favorite holiday?

Oh, that would be Christmas because my family has a lot fun traditions.  It's always been such a memorable experience, every single Christmas.  I could explain the traditions to you, but they sound kind of silly.

Could you explain maybe one or two traditions?

The way my house is set up in Utah, it's kind of cabin-esque.  There are three floors - there's a main floor and second floor and an upstairs.  The main floor is where we have our Christmas tree, and we have a balcony on the second floor that overlooks the main floor.  So every single Christmas, we sleep on the balcony, waiting for Santa Claus to come or whatever.  Even up until this past Christmas, I'm 20 years old and I'm still having a sleepover with my nine-year old brother and my older sister.  We'll all sleep over and it's pretty fun.  I don't know, it's just a family thing.

How old were you when you realized that Santa Claus didn't exist?

Actually, I was a firm believer for a long time.  Probably past the standard.  I remember crying in fifth grade because someone told me that he wasn't real, and I was so upset about it.  I got so upset and I refused to believe it.  I think I was on the verge of teenagehood before… I was probably 11 or 12.

Can the Easter Bunny be included in that?

Yeah, I think he was out before that.  He didn't make the cut!

Speaking of holidays, Halloween is coming up pretty soon.  Do you know what you are going to dress up as?

Jeez, I have no idea actually.

Is it kind of a team thing, where a bunch of your teammates dress up as one thing?

Well, last year me, Katie [Goldhahn] and Nji [Nnamani] dressed up as "Mean Girls."  Have you seen that movie?  We memorized their dance and performed at a Halloween party that Matt Haryasz and a bunch of the basketball guys threw.  It was pretty entertaining.

This year, you're not sure what you will do?

Yeah, I don't know.  I'll get back to you.

4. What are three things you'll need to survive as a typical Stanford student?

A planner because I would lose my mind if I tried to keep in my head everywhere I'd have to be and everything I'd have to accomplish in a day.  A good trainer to keep my body in one piece.  And I'd have to go with my Batman skateboard.

Easy transportation I guess?

Yeah.  Cynthia and I have twin boards.  We bought them together.

So is one Batman and one Robin?

Nope.  They are identical.  They're called the Dark Knights.

Have you ever fallen off the Dark Knight?

Yes, but no big spills.

5. These days, it seems like the networks are popping up with all kinds of new reality T.V. shows.  What reality T.V. show would you want to pitch to the networks?

You know what?  I don't know.  I'm not a big T.V. person, and I don't watch a lot of reality television.  I just saw the first episode of Laguna Beach ever two weeks ago because my teammates were watching it.  I don't know if that question applies to me… so I guess I'll say N/A?

Is there a show that you've seen or heard that you would like to go on?

My two favorite T.V. shows right now are Malcom in the Middle, just because I watch it with my little brothers all the time and it's their favorite show.  It makes me think of them.  And I watch The O.C.

A little cheesy, but…

Oh yeah, for sure.

6. You're a junior now and pretty soon, you'll have to think about the real world.  What would you say your dream job would be?

As far as after I graduate, ideally, I want to go and play volleyball for a professional team overseas.  After I can't anymore, after my body breaks, I'd like to be a social worker, helping kids.  Whether its education or abused kids, I'm not sure which direction I'd like to take, but I want to do social work.  I'd like to work out a schedule where I can be at home with my family and work at the same time.

After you are done with volleyball, would you want to move back to Utah?

I'm actually in love with California and I don't want to leave!  Utah has a lot of pull because I'm very close with my family.  I think if I did go back, that would be the only reason why.  Other than that, I want to stay here.

If you meet a nice boy and settle down, you'll most likely stay in California?

Yeah, Prince Charming.  He's out there somewhere.

7. What is one thing about you that not many people know about?

I was a huge tomboy when I was little.  I wore soccer cleats to school on a daily basis.

Did you get teased about that?

Actually, it was pretty much the cool thing to do back then.  I remember taking pride in the fact that I was always first pick when the guys would play football.  So I'd always be first pick when we were playing.  I was really into it.

You would say you're a little different now?

Oh yeah.  Being exposed to the outside world is a whole new experience because where I come from is very religiously based.

Would you say have been exposed to things when at Stanford or when you were traveling with your club team and with the Junior National Team?

With USA Volleyball, that's how I initially started.  For the first time, I actually got out of Utah was when I was 16.  We'd go to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.  Essentially, Stanford has been a huge eye opener.  I'd go on trips with my teammates for two weeks and I'd meet people who weren't Mormon, because I'm Mormon.  As far as lifestyle goes, I was never completely thrown in until two years ago when I came out here.  It's been a great experience, and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I think that there is so much to see and so many individuals with different backgrounds and cultures and ethnicities that it's great.  I think that some people in Utah are kind of closed off to that.  It's kind of a bummer.

If you weren't doing volleyball for Stanford, do you think you'd like to study abroad?

Yes.  I want to still!  I have been studying Italian for a year, and I really want to go to Italy.  I think I might next year, if I can work out my class schedule.

8. What has been your most embarrassing moment to date?

I fell off a moving airport train.

A moving airport train?

You know those cars at the airport that transport people?  I fell off one of those.


Well I mean… ok, fell off isn't the right word.  I decided I was going to step off of it while it was moving.  I thought I could pull it off, but apparently it didn't work out so well because I ended up rolling and rolling and rolling in front of hundreds of people.  That was pretty mortifying.

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