Fourth-year Chloe Pendlebury sat down with VirginiaSports.com just before Senior Day to talk to about the Australian native's time with the Cavaliers and her plans for the future.
When did you first start playing field hockey?
I started playing when I was five. It was a modified form of hockey that we play at that age, playing with boys and girls. I used to play with my brother, Brody. When I got older, like 11 or so, I started playing real hockey against just the girls.
What is the biggest difference between Australian and American hockey?
The structure is very different. Back home, everything is club based. Instead of there just being your school, there is your club and you play at different levels within that. Playing wise, we are a little more laid back in Australia. We still have fun and like to win, but it is definitely a lot less serious than it is here.
Did you have a big culture shock when you first came to America?,
The movies actually educate you a lot. You don't realize how much movies are an actual depiction of America until you come here and see that it is all true about the colleges and the fraternities and the life. I had lived with some Americans before [exchange students who lived with her family during high school], so I wasn't surprised by the personalities. I already knew they were nice people compared to the people in the movies, but I think the most shocking thing was the emphasis that Americans have on sports. I didn't realize how much went into it, that you really are training four or five hours a day. At home, you just walk up to practice, have a half an hour practice and then go home.
Where all have you visited since being in America?
My family and I visited back in 2004. We went to the theme parks and then stopped in Honolulu on the way back. In the last four years, I have been to a lot of states. I have been to most of the East traveling with field hockey. I went to New York with my brother last spring, which was really fun. The last holiday, I went to California and Las Vegas with my mom. I spent a week with Lane [Smith] in LA last summer when she was doing her internship, so that was a lot of fun.
You are graduating in December with a degree in biology. What are you going to do after that?
I am still not decided 100 percent what I am going to do. I was at a veterinary school before in Australia, so I think I still want to pursue that. I have to go back to my school and see if I can get credits for the degree here. I am hoping that is going to work out, but I also love kids, so I am thinking about teaching. I am working at Venable at the moment doing the ACE [Athletes Committed to Community and Education] program at the moment, working with a fourth-grade class. We are focusing on reading right now, but I also help out with recess. I get to play kickball, but it is definitely the one sport I do not know the rules. It is very difficult at times since I don't know the rules.
Michele Madison is about to be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame. What is it like playing for her?
She is very determined, and I think that rubs off on her players. She is always pushing you and pushing you and you know she is doing this to make you better. That is a really good thing and that is what you need in a coach.
Coming up on Senior Day, what has been your favorite field hockey moment?
Most of the time, I think it is the friends that make it most enjoyable. I really love playing and always will, but the it's the people and the funny moments on the field that make you laugh that I love most of all. The game-winning moments are the best as well. Time really flew. I can't believe it is already Senior Day.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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