An interview conducted on Wednesday with Mara Quam, a senior on the volleyball team.
Kole: Tell us about yourself.
Quam: I’m from Kenyon, Minnesota. I am a fifth year student. Without COVID, I would have been done last year, but I took my next year that I had available just because I needed to graduate. I’m graduating this fall as well. My major is sports management and my minor is marketing.
K: What are three words you use to describe yourself?
Q: Hardworking, kind and coachable. I can adapt to things that people are telling me, pick up and learn things easily.
K: What are some of the most important things to you in life?
Q: My family. I have a few little and older siblings. And my parents are super special to me. Another thing, I would say school is super important to me. I want to get a good education so I have a good future ahead of me. And then one other thing I would say, probably spending time with not just family, but people that mean the most to you. That’s been super important to me, I think, since COVID, we went so long without seeing people that kind of made me realize how important those other people are to me.
K: Who inspires you to be the best version of yourself?
Q: I would say my parents, but mostly my mom, she’s Super Woman to me and I look up to her. She’s always there for me. She always has been. She’s the most supportive person in the world. I hope to be like her.
K: What is your favorite part about playing volleyball and your favorite part about being on the volleyball team here at MSU?
Q: I would say my favorite part about playing volleyball is how competitive it is. I am a super competitive person and I always have been. I think that’s a big trait I have and people see me as that. I love how it’s a team sport, but it’s also very personal because you need to do your job in order for your team to score. At MSU, I love the girls. Our team is so close. And those are some of my lifelong friends for sure.
K: When did you start playing volleyball?
Q: I started in the third or fourth grade.
K: What made you stick with volleyball?
Q: I had to choose between doing gymnastics and getting to play my school sports, volleyball, basketball and track. One thing that stuck out was my parents could tell I missed my friends because when I did gymnastics, I had to go to a town 30 minutes over so I didn’t have my friends at all. And then once I got to high school, my team ended up being really good. We were ranked one in the conference or one in the state my senior year. And we had a few of my best friends on the team, that’s what kept me going. And I honestly think that last season is what made me want to play in college. That’s when I realized at my last game, I didn’t want it to be my last game.
K: So what are your goals for this upcoming volleyball season?
Q: I think our goal this year is to have a fresh new start. We went through a year of trying to find a new coach and lost a few players, and we got two new grades. Now, I think our goal this year is to surprise everyone with what we have.
K: What are your goals for yourself as well this season?
Q: My goal is to maintain my starting spot I had last season. We have so many good girls that are my age and younger in my position that we compete every day. So it’s not my spot. And my coach tells me that every day. That’s something that I really want and I’m excited about. Another goal I have is to be the best teammate I can for my last season. I want to leave a good lasting impression on the people that I played with.
K: What is your dream situation coming out of college? Do you want to continue your future with volleyball or are you looking to start something else?
Q: My dream situation coming out of college would be to be able to play pro volleyball, but that is out of the picture. I’m probably just going to pursue my major. I might go get my masters, but I am going to move on. My body is ready for a little break. I’ll always stay in touch with the sport and obviously all my other sports, too. So it’s not like I’m going to go missing and never play the game again. But I’m not thinking of playing competitively anymore after this season.
K: So you kind of talked about trying to stick with it. Do you think you’d maybe do some type of assistant coaching at a high level or try and actually coach a high school team?
Q: I’m definitely open to coaching. That is something that I possibly would like to do in the future. I think I would just need to get more experience to see if that’s really something I would like to do.