After setting new career-highs and earning the title of Academic All-Big Ten honoree, junior Kamryn Malloy has been putting in hard work during this offseason as she readies for the start of the IU volleyball season.
With many new players on the team this season, Malloy said she is working to make the transition for the freshmen as seamless as possible.
IU volleyball is aiming to change its identity this season, and the upperclassmen are focused on encompassing new players in the team’s culture.
During the offseason, it’s essential to build rapport with one another off the court to ensure that on-the-court chemistry will follow. Malloy and her teammates have spent nearly the whole summer together, whether it be during practice or their free time.
“We hang out all the time," Malloy said. "When we’re not here, we’re all together. When people come in here, they always say how welcomed they feel.”
One of the challenges with adding new players onto the team is setting the expectations and breaking the bad habits. Malloy, fellow upperclassmen teams and coaches are working to maintain the expectations of the program.
The team will be playing in its new arena, Wilkinson Hall, this season. The arena's location, which is next to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, is closer to the freshmen dorms and allows easier access for students to attend.
Last season, Malloy appeared in 25 matches and 83 sets, recording 167 kills and 194 digs.
After her successful sophomore season, Malloy said she is working to build upon that success in the classroom and on the court by applying herself where the team needs her most.
“I think that my role is wherever the team needs me,” Malloy said. “That’s always been my role. That’s always been my mindset.”
Malloy has had to find the right balance for academics and a Division I sport. Time management has been crucial. The team uses any free time they can to complete their homework.
Looking back on her high school years, Malloy said she wished she would have disregarded being the youngest on her varsity team freshman year and been more confident.
Malloy will be focusing on staying confident in her skills and using her voice to lead the team along with the seniors on the team
As the Big Ten teams gets more competitive, Malloy said the team is working toward consistency. Eliminating nerves and playing how one practices are big keys to IU’s new season.
Malloy’s biggest tip to the freshmen comes from what IU Coach Steve Aird says in practice: “Be mindful.”
Coming from different backgrounds and techniques, it is important to be open to making changes, and overall, trust the process and the coaches.
Malloy and the team kick off their season on Aug. 30 against Florida International University.