Five questions with Abby McKinzie

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the offseason, we’ll catch up with volleyball student-athletes for five questions.

Abby McKinzie | So. | DS | East Leroy, Mich.

Q: How would you say the offseason is going so far?

McKINZIE: “Definitely good, we’ve only been at it for two weeks and now we are in our third week. I’ve seen improvement, not just in volleyball and this is in the team and me, but we’ve improving a lot in conditioning with Coach [Allison] Randall, and I see that transferring to the gym. So when I’m working on that strength and speed, it’s having a positive impact on my game, which is allowing me to get to the ball quicker and being able to stay lower longer because my legs are getting stronger.

“It’s also going good because even though we don’t have our seniors right now, it creates room for leadership positons that are needed. So, it’s big shoes to feel but I think it has given me and the team opportunities to be more vocal and better leaders.”

Q: What are you working on specifically with offseason practices?

McKINZIE: “Specifically with me being a DS, I’m working very hard on being a consistent server and passer. I’m emphasizing this with my feet, because I think with this spring season so far my platform has gotten a lot better. So now I want to put the footwork component with that and specifically with short balls on getting my feet there set and having control of it rather than feeling like I’m off balance. So that will be a big thing for me and then just continuing to being able to hold when I’m getting a hard-driven ball. Like having control over my body rather the ball having control over me."

Q: Can you speak on the tight-knit group you have with the defensive specialists?

McKINZIE: “Carol [Raffety] and I have been best friends since Day 1. Ever since we got here our freshman year, we just kind of clicked from there and have been really close. And it’s the exact same thing with Kylie [Thomas]. Her and I are literally the same person, in the best way, to where we are always together and hanging out. Now, I could say that about every single girl on our team, not just our position group, but we have a special bond because we are doing the same drills and are going through the same stuff. I couldn’t ask for a closer team and position group.”

Q: Is there a song you play before a game or what pregame traditions do you or the team have?

McKINZIE: “I don’t think there is one specific song, but I generally play songs that are a little more pump up. Not so much rap or anything soothing, but I try to listen to something that is going to build me up. I listen to Diplo and he has some songs that are pump up. We listen to music as a team in the locker room before a game, as well.”

Q: With heading into your junior year this fall, is there anything that sticks out that you are excited about?

McKINZIE: “With my major, I just recently switched it, I’m excited to get into that more. It’s my first year with this major change, so I haven’t taken as much in-depth classes, it’s just the beginner classes. I’m anxious to start those. I’m more anxious with the volleyball aspect with how our team has put in the work during the offseason so far this spring and seeing how that translates into the fall season, allowing us to have a good season. I’m anxious to see how our hard work will be put into good use.”

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