Name: Calli Kenny
School: Willowbrook, sophomore
Why she was selected: Kenny had a combined 38 kills, 26 digs and six aces to lead the Warriors to five wins and the championship of the Elk Grove Invitational to improve to 26-0 on the season (Willowbrook has since won three matches to improve to 29-0). She was voted by readers as the Suburban Life Athlete of the Week. Here is Kenny’s interview with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.
Welge: Your team is 26-0 and undefeated with about a week left in the regular season. What’s your reaction when you hear that?
Kenny: It’s crazy to think about it. We worked so hard for it. The whole offseason we were preparing for it, in summer, but, yeah, it’s crazy. All of us can’t believe it, but our goal is to keep going through the regular season undefeated.
Welge: When did you get a sense that this could be a special season?
Kenny: I felt it before the season, but I didn’t know that we were going to be 26-0 and getting ranked first in our sectional. I did know during the summer that with the freshmen we had coming and the returning players that we would have a good season.
Welge: How did you feel about this last tournament?
Kenny: After our game with York, the team was a little disappointed in how we were playing and our energy was low. This weekend we stepped it up and had good energy and played consistent and played really good, especially against Crystal Lake South who is one of the better teams we have played this year. We really turned it on and that’s why we were able to be so successful.
Welge: I heard this is your first time playing with your sister [freshman Hannah Kenny]. What’s that been like?
Kenny: It’s been super fun getting to play with her and seeing both of our talents come together. Our friendship is growing and getting to meet new people has been really fun.
Welge: You’re also a great basketball and softball player. What’s your best sport?
Kenny: I think volleyball is my best and it’s the sport I enjoy the most. I think it’s my favorite team sport between this team and club. I really like volleyball the most because of the speed of it, getting so many chances and that kind of stuff.
Welge: What is some of the advice your mom [former Willowbrook three-sport star Andrea Miller] has passed on to you as an athlete?
Kenny: One of them is to stay calm under pressure and not get worked up. If I make a few mistakes, don’t get too worked up. Another one is making adjustments on the court. Another one is keeping a good attitude, not showing if I’m having trouble or getting frustrated.
Welge: What do you do to prepare for a match?
Kenny: Our team is obsessed with music. I listen to music with my AirPods before games. Before every match, we blast a bunch of our favorite songs through the speaker and we all dance. I can speak for our team that that’s how we all get super pumped for games.
Welge: What’s your favorite pro team?
Kenny: White Sox.
Welge: Favorite athlete?
Kenny: LeBron James.
Welge: Favorite TV show?
Kenny: “Outer Banks.”
Welge: Favorite subject in school?