Trausch shines for McHenry Community College volleyball team
McHenry County College's (MCC) Kayli Trausch has emerged as one of the best volleyball players in the nation this season.
The Scots' sophomore middle blocker from Fox River Grove ranks in the top five nationally in four scoring categories and has keyed MCC to a winning record after 19 matches this season.
As of Sept. 15, Trausch ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II in solo blocks (56) and points (261.0), second in total blocks (80), and fifth in kills (185), according to njcaa.org.
“I am always resetting my goals to keep challenging myself with new goals, such as being ranked in the top five at the end of the season,” Trausch said in a recent email interview. “There’s always room to improve, and I come into the gym everyday with the mindset of getting better every time I touch the ball.”
Trausch was a star at Cary-Grove High School, twice earning first-team All-Fox Valley Conference honors, according to eiupanthers.com. She initially received a full ride to play at Eastern Illinois University and went there in 2014; however, illness cut short her time there.
When she returned home early in her freshman year, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so Trausch decided to attend MCC in order to be close to home.
After not playing for a year, Trausch was in the hallway at MCC when she exchanged hellos with Kyle McCall, MCC head volleyball coach. The next day she received a tweet from him to discuss a proposition with him and assistant coach Sheri Mayner. The Scots' middle blocker had just sprained her ankle, and the team needed depth at the position.
“They were very understanding of everything that I had been through and told me it wouldn’t be easy to get back into volleyball shape, but they would be willing to work with me to get me there,” Trausch said.
She said she watched some of that night's practice and sat on the team's bench the next night. After that match, Trausch said she decided with her parents that she wanted to play.
“I texted Coach McCall that night to give him the news, and since making that decision, I have not regretted it a day,” Trausch said.
In 24 matches in the 2015 season, Trausch had 185.5 points, 128 kills and 65 total blocks. Her 40 solo blocks ranked 53rd nationally.
Trausch said she's improved and is focusing on being consistent in every part of her game.
“Earlier in my career, I may have been satisfied with primarily being a blocking middle, but as I progressed, I have worked on my hitting and arm swing to make sure that I am always an asset to my team and coaches,” she said.
After a 3-0 home win over Oakton on Sept. 13, the Scots were 11-8 overall and 3-0 in the Illinois Skyway Conference. McHenry was ranked No. 14 during that week's action.
“We have a lot of room to grow as a team, but we make strides in the right direction everyday,” Trausch said.
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