SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Cal Poly volleyball player Maia Dvoracek has been named to the U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team, USA Volleyball announced Wednesday.
Dvoracek is one of 28 players named to the team and is one of four opposite hitters on the Collegiate National Team- Gold Roster.
"I was so excited, I couldn't even hold it in," Dvoracek said of receiving the news she had made the team. "I had to call my parents right away because they're always the people I want to tell good news to first, but I was so happy to know that the work I have put in over the years and in the shadows has paid off in the most amazing way possible.
She is the first Mustang to make the U.S. Women's Collegiate National Team since former standout setter Taylor Nelson made it in 2017.
"I wanted to scream but I was watching my roommate golf at the San Luis Obispo Country Club so I had to whisper scream when I talked to my parents on the phone. I don't think at the time I really believed it because I was honestly in shock."
She is the only player to make the team from the Big West Conference and will be alongside players from such schools as Washington, Stanford, Wisconsin, LSU, Florida, Utah, Baylor, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Pepperdine.
She and the others were selected after a three day tryout Feb. 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dvoracek and the rest of the team will train July 5-12 in Anaheim where they will compete side-by-side with the U.S. Women's National Team as it makes its final preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
"It's such an honor. To be kind of unknown, from a small town and a school that doesn't have the big name brand title it was amazing just to be at the tryout in Colorado and playing with these amazing girls. I can't wait to be in a gym and push myself to be uncomfortable playing with girls better than me - girls that hit harder, jump higher, run faster because there's always learning and growth to be done and I know that being surrounded by the best girls in the country will do that.
The junior Truckee, Calif. native had a breakout season in 2019 for Cal Poly. After playing just a combined 30 sets in her first two years, Dvoracek stepped into the starting lineup with big shoes to fill. She took full advantage of her opportunity and parlayed it into becoming an AVCA Third Team All-American, AVCA All-Region, and First Team All-Big West selection after she led the Mustangs and was second in the Big West with 4.25 kills per set and was top-five in the nation in service aces while starting all 30 matches and playing every set.
"It has always been a dream of mine. I think any little kid that grows up in sports and loves every second of it wants to one day represent their country. I watched my brother ski race with the U.S. Ski Team and I was always pretty jealous, so to have the opportunity to finally be able to wear red, white, and blue myself is incomprehensible. With my journey and my career I didn't always think it was possible for me, but I'm so thankful that the people around me never gave up on me."
Story courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics.