Q&A with Kennedy Byxbee
Sophomore transfer Kennedy Byxbee and the Virginia softball team is back in action with a doubleheader at Hampton on Wednesday. Byxbee, who arrived in Charlottesville after a year at Colorado, recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about her journey to UVa, her favorite TV shows and her ultimate dream job.
Question: How did you end up at Virginia?
Byxbee: Growing up I always wanted to play college softball, but when I got to high school I kind of had my mind set on not playing. I loved high school ball but I thought I didn’t want to play college. I just wanted to have fun and so my mind was set on that. When I went to University of Colorado, after my first semester all I could think about was playing. I contacted the club coach but she never got back to me. I remember the day after April Fools I emailed my dad and said, ‘This is not a joke. I love Boulder but I need to play.’ So I started contacting schools and set my goals to playing again. Then I just started playing on a club team back home and got into contact with Coach Schmidt. She came out to see me play at the Boulder Firecracker Tournament and it all just kind of worked out. UVa was one of my top school choices when I was graduating high school too, so that was great.
Question: Has it been an easy transition after not playing for a year?
Byxbee: The softball I knew would catch up. I knew my skills would start to come back. It would be hard, but the training was the worst. I got sick every day for the first two weeks until I started getting back into shape. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Now it’s normal, but it’s not easy taking a whole year off then coming back and trying to catch up with everyone.
Question: What was it like starting the first game of the year?
Byxbee: It was nerve-wracking, but I was much more excited than nervous. I had butterflies, but they were good butterflies. I think we were so ready to play that day. Once we stepped onto that field after that first pitch, it was a huge breath of fresh air for me. I was so excited to be there.
Question: How did you get started playing softball?
Byxbee: We have a league called Scottsdale Miss Softball in Arizona and I started playing that just because a lot of my friends were playing. I actually played hockey and did gymnastics when I was little. I remember we were in the championship game in this SMS league and my best friend’s dad who passed away had recruited me when I was nine years old to play on a club team and that’s where it all started.
Question: What do you love about the sport?
Bxybee: I think just being on a team. You don’t get the experience on any other sports team that we get here, especially the team here. We’re so close and it’s so much more than an individual sport. Everyone has to work together and that’s my favorite part of it.
Question: What do you do when you’re not playing softball or studying?
Byxbee: There’s not much time to do what you want to do, but I love sitting in my bed watching TV or just hanging out with friends. I’d go see a movie or walk downtown. Be social.
Question: What are some of your favorite TV shows?
Byxbee: Chelsea Lately is my favorite show and Gossip Girl, but it’s been on a hiatus for the last month. E! is one of my favorite stations. I can throw on E! and be set for the rest of the night.
Question: What about your major?
Byxbee: I really want to be a media studies major, but it’s really competitive. If I don’t get into that, I’ll probably do sociology or maybe foreign affairs. But I really want to get into media studies.
Question: What about your future career plans?
Byxbee: Sports broadcasting is my ultimate dream job.