After a breakout season that ended with being named a third team All-American, junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek will join the United States National College Volleyball team this summer.
“I haven’t had a smile off my face yet … It feels like basically the entire athletic community here, in Truckee and and every place that I’ve played or anyone that knows me, has reached out,” Dvoracek said Tuesday. “It’s been easily the best 24 hours.”
Dvoracek was selected Monday after participating in a three-day tryout from Feb. 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The tryout included training sessions with the U.S. National team, including head coach Karch Kiraly.
“I felt pretty consistent throughout the whole thing, just like I played my normal volleyball,” Dvoracek said. “It was definitely hard being at 6,200 feet coming from sea level. I was out of breath a lot quicker than I wanted to be.”
From 204 student-athletes representing 94 collegiate programs, Dvoracek was selected to train alongside the U.S. National team before they head to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Dvoracek was Cal Poly’s only representative.
“I’m excited to play with a whole new group of girls and just be uncomfortable, because I think that’s when a lot of learning happens,” Dvoracek said.”
After seeing limited playing time through her first two years at Cal Poly, Dvoracek played in all 30 matches of her junior season. The Truckee native had to fill the shoes of 2018 Big West Player of the Year Torrey Van Winden, who was sidelined due to injury. Dvoracek proved she could power the Mustang offense, averaging 4.25 kills per set. She was named to the 2019 All-Big West first team and the All-American third team.
“We knew pretty early on how special she was, but I don’t think that we ever could have predicted the season that she had,” head coach Caroline Walters said. “It’s truly remarkable for someone to not play many matches their first two years and then come in and have that impact, not only on the conference, but to be named an All-American after that, is unheard of.”
Dvoracek recorded a career-high 30-kills to beat No. 16 Utah in five sets on Sept. 14. She later recorded 29 kills in a loss to Hawai’i on Nov. 3.
Dvoracek and the U.S. College National team will practice alongside the U.S. National team from July 5-12 in Anaheim.
“I don’t think anything that has happened in the past year, I could have written down to have happened in a better way,” Dvoracek said. “All the ups and downs, my two years waiting here at Cal Poly, I think everything has prepared me for this year. I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful for all the support and all the love and the opportunities that Cal poly has given me.”