STORRS, Conn. - Leading the American Athletic Conference in hitting percentage is the result of four years of hard work for senior Hayley Cmajdalka, who has helped the UConn volleyball team get off to a fast start in 2016.
Cmajdalka’s strong performance has awarded her with two All-Tournament Team honors in the LSU Tiger Classic and Dog Pound Challenge. Her American Athletic Conference leading hitting percentage of .418 has also proven to be a key factor in the Huskies’ recent success.
UConn’s (12-3, 3-1 American) success comes with a well-mixed group of athletes on the roster, made up of four seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen.
As the team continues to move forward in conference play, against SMU on the road, Cmajdalka looks forward as well, saying, “I believe this team has some big things in store. I think we are capable of doing anything when we fully commit.”
This season Cmajdalka has looked to continue her leadership role in her final year. “I have always thought of myself as more of a “leader by example” and less as a verbally instructive leader; though I have learned to be more vocal and better equipped to help build a better team culture.”
Looking back on her four years and 77 total games at UConn, Cmajdalka has positive feelings all around. “Learning my place on this team has helped me to develop as a person and as a leader, going through a division one program most definitely builds mental toughness.”
Before the start of this season, Cmajdalka spent her summer with her family. A good example of senior chemistry included a visit to Florida to celebrate the birthday of her fellow teammate, Jade Strawberry.
The senior class includes Cmajdalka, Strawberry, Rebecca Rivera and Camille Evans – a group of players that have combined to go 54-56 in their four seasons, including three seasons under head coach Kris Grunwald.
“I’ve worked so hard to get to this point in my career. However, it’s extremely hard to think about leaving such an amazing program here at UConn,” said Cmajdalka.
Cmajdalka came to UConn from College Station, Texas, where she was named All-District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at A&M Consolidated. She was also named 5A Academic All-State and Academic Varsity MVP, while being selected to the 5A Texas All-State Team.
At UConn, Cmajdalka majors in communications. When asked about future plans she said, “I do not have any definite plans for after I graduate, I’m just trying to enjoy the time I have left at UConn.”