UCI’s Women’s Volleyball team is 18-3 overall and off to the best start in program history. Kylie Green, one of the players on the team, is originally from Sacramento, California. Aside from playing volleyball, Kylie is currently a junior studying Criminology. This year marks her third year playing for UCI. She explained that the sport became an integrated part of her life when she started her first year of club at a mere thirteen years old. She began the sport because her friends were doing it, but ended up outlasting her friends and kept playing. After coming to UCI for a visit at the end of her junior year of high school, she decided to commit. We spoke about what it is like to be a student-athlete, Halloween, and her post-graduation plans. Take a look…
When did you realize volleyball was something you wanted to do and that you were good at?
After my first year of club, I realized that I really enjoyed it and wanted to keep going. I was always told that I should try it since I was taller than most people.
Have you had any challenges and/or setbacks?
No, not really. I have been pretty fortunate not to experience any major injuries.
What is it like having to balance your schoolwork and being on the team? I imagine it is pretty challenging.
Yeah, there are definitely times where you have to prioritize. I remember when I was in high school and deciding if I wanted to carry this on into college or focus on school. There have definitely been times where I thought about not playing anymore in order to focus on my academics. Before I made that decision, I just realized a life without playing is too hard.
What is the most rewarding part of being on the team?
I think we have such an awesome group girls, especially with this team, and we are all so close. You just always have that family to support you both on and off the court. I live with all my teammates. It’s a special bond that you have when you spend so much time together. You build really good relationships.
Can you explain what a typical day in the life of a UCI volleyball player looks like?
I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays which is really lucky. I have practice every day but Tuesdays are probably my busiest days. I wake up and we have practice at 8am for three hours and then weights for an hour. We have practice six days a week plus games. Typically we have one day off, which is usually on Sundays. A lot of girls also have to go to study table. You’re still expected to keep your academics up so it is definitely tough managing everything.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
We all listen to music together in the locker room to get pumped up for the game. We also have a team principles and goals pyramid that our coach made for us. It is just how UCI’s Women’s Volleyball team should act and represent. We like to write it out on the whiteboard before every game to kind of remind ourselves how we are playing, who we are playing for, and what the goals for this team are. We started it this season so it’s pretty recent. It helps us calm down before a game and focus on our goals.
Although you’re a junior, do you have any plans after graduation? Do you want to play volleyball professionally?
I haven’t really thought about it. I want to stay down in this area. I am from up north but I really like it down here. I am probably going to focus on getting a job down here and building a life down here. I want to travel and go overseas but I don’t know if I want to necessarily play overseas yet.
Rapid Fire Round:
Last thing you binge-watched?
Game of Thrones. Everyone has been talking about it. I didn’t want to get into it, but I finally did one day and ended up watching the whole thing in a month. It is so good.
First thing you do after a game?
Depending on if we win or lose the emotions are a little different. I will normally go say hi to my friends and family and then go get something to eat.
Favorite junk food?
I love pizza and most sweets like ice cream.
In honor of Halloween coming up, what is the coolest thing you have ever been?
I don’t think I’ve done anything super exciting. I wish I had something cool but I’ve just done the stereotypical stuff like Britney Spears and a pirate.
Although the season is sadly coming to an end, they still have some games left. You can find the schedule here.
Be sure to go and support!!
A very special thank you to Kylie for taking part in this interview.