Kayla Brockway is a 5-foot-8-inch GC volleyball player majoring in athletic training. She has won many awards at GC, including 2017 PBC Setter of the Year, 2017 PBC All-Tournament Team and the 2016 PBC All-Academic Team.
The Jacksonville, Florida native went to high school at Providence School.
Brockway plays under head coach Gretchen Krumdieck who credits Brockway as a good leader and captain because of her positive attitude and competitive nature on the court.
Brockway attributed her success and motivation to her parents and teammates.
“My parents are the biggest inspiration in my life,” Brockway said. “They are always working hard and supporting me. My team always pushes me to do better. They expect the best out of me like I expect the best out of them.”
Brockway’s position on the court is the setter. She plays an important role by assisting her teammates to score.
Krumdieck said the setter is very similar to the quarterback of the team.
“Kayla is who I communicate with the most from the sidelines,” Krumdieck said. “She’s the one who figures out what is going on during the match and what is going to work based on what the other team is doing from the blocking aspect.”
The position of setter requires Brockway to have an impressive court awareness and read and understand each of her teammates.
“Her job is really difficult because certain players hit higher or reach higher than others, so she has to know how to set every single person, and all the hitters have to trust her,” Krumdieck explained. “The hitters have one person to worry about while Brockway has eight people.”
According to Krumdieck, Brockway has a high volleyball IQ and a good feel for the game. Brockway posted 3.21 digs per set on the court last season, giving her a total of 954 digs in three years.
Brockway’s busy schedule with weightlifting, conditioning, practice and class can be strenuous, but teammate Taylor Svehla said Brockway always makes time to come to work outs and practice and to check on her teammates.
Regardless of the situation on or off the court, Svehla said Brockway is very level-headed and brings a solid energy to the team.
“She makes calculated moves and risks during the game,” Svehla said. “She’s a really good teammate, and a lot of the girls on the team look up to her to see an example of what a good teammate and volleyball player she is.”
Since her teammate and close friend Chandler Ewaldsen finished her last season as a senior on the volleyball court, Brockway looks forward to working with freshman Libby Bochniak.
“Libby is definitely someone I can always count on,” Brockway said. “She made a huge impact this season as a freshman. I can tell all she is going to do is good for the team.”
Krumdieck has high expectations for Brockway this upcoming season.
“I want to see the exact same thing out of Kayla,” Krumdieck said. “When she came here she was already a really good setter, so we didn’t have to fix a lot.”
Her expectations for Brockway include maintaining the high level of intensity, having a great court awareness and doing her homework by watching game film.
In the past four years, Brockway has been the only setter on the team with no back up. Brockway said her volleyball skills have improved by simply getting the experience of playing time. Since she was the only setter, she got numerous reps every day at practice.
“Now that we will have another setter, I think she will push me more, and we will push each other to make us better,” Brockway said.
Brockway’s personal goals for her final season are to make time for extra reps and for her team to make it to nationals.
The team is working hard during their offseason to get stronger and faster to achieve the skills needed on the volleyball court.
“Each week, we are lifting three days and conditioning two days,” Brockway said. “We are doing quick agilities that will carry over and relate to volleyball.”
Brockway hopes the hard work will pay off, so the volleyball team can bring home a national championship to GC.