With intensity, a powerful kill shot and a Canadian accent, Tonya Mokelki has been at the center of CSU volleyball for the last four years. Now, in her senior year the outside hitter is on pace to have her best season yet. As the year progresses, Mokelki is trying to keep the Rams at the top of the Mountain West Conference while figuring out what the future holds.
Q. You are halfway through the season, how would you evaluate your team’s performance so far?
A. I think we are pretty happy with our conference play so far, but there are things we need to do to make sure we keep getting better. We don’t want to stay where we are right now. Everyone is either staying the same or getting better and if other teams are getting better than we are, that isn’t good.
Q. What does it feel like to be in your last year at CSU?
A. Scary. It is exciting to be here finally, but at the same time it is pretty nerve racking. You don’t really know what you are going to be doing after.
Q. Where do you go from here, or do you even know yet?
A. I am going to try and stay in the U.S. I think I might go to Europe and play for a little bit, come back and maybe go to grad school.
Q. Are their any memories that stick out during your time in a CSU uniform?
A. Obviously the game against Utah last season in the Mountain West tournament. That is probably one of the greatest moments for me when I was playing on the team. My freshman year when I redshirted we made it to the sweet 16 which is also a highlight.
Q. What made you want to come to Fort Collins all the way from Canada?
A. I just loved the town up here and the team. The people you play with are going to be a big part of your experiences. All of the coaches and the girls are great and obviously they recruit good people and players which make the experience great.
Q. How was it playing on the Canadian National Volleyball team this summer?
A. It was fun. It was a different coaching style and different girls, some with a lot more experience than I have, but it was still a lot of fun.
Q. How did you end up playing for team Canada?
A. It is invite only. I was invited last year too, but I hurt my ankle and couldn’t go. They re-invited me this year so I ended up going and making the team.
Q. You are a pretty intense person on the court, but are you as intense as teammate Jacque Davisson?
A. I would definitely have to say there are situations where we both have our moments, but as a whole, Jacque is probably there a lot more. She has definitely taken over that role, which I am fine with.
Q. How would you describe yourself as a person off the court?
A. I would say I am a genuine person. I would like to think my teammates can come talk to me about things because I am personable and outgoing.
Q. When people look at you on the court, what type of player do you hope they see?
A. I would say I am a very intense player. I hope that they would see me as a leader on the court and off the court when I am not playing. I hope they see that I love the game and have a passion for it.
Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org