Student athlete profile


Last updated 9/22/2022 at 12:18am | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

Erika Kalman



When did you start playing volleyball?

I feel like I've been playing since elementary school. I actually started out playing beach volleyball because I have a cousin who plays professional beach volleyball in California.

What do you enjoy most about it?

I think the team aspect. Everyone is so supportive and we're all super close. There's never a day where I regret coming to practice because it's always a good time.

How have you evolved as a player?

I've definitely developed my consistency and my volleyball IQ. I have more experience knowing the shots to hit and the part of court that's open, and making quicker decisions.

Do you have a pre-match routine?

I try to listen to music and just get in the mindset that I have nothing to lose because I'm playing to have fun. As a team we've done Zoomba together before pre-game warm-ups.

How would your teammates describe you?

A loud player, a leader on the court and very competitive. You'll hear me yelling out where the opponent's hitters are.

What are your goals for the season?

As a team, we all really want to win the state sectionals this year and be the team that changes the program's expectations in the state tournament. Personally, I just want to get more consistent in my hitting and serve receive.

Other interests?

I actually love weightlifting. Two years ago I tore a bunch of ligaments in my knee, and it was the only thing I could do before I could go back to volleyball. It's rewarding to see the growth in your strength.

Why does coach Kelly Stapleton like having Kalman on the squad?

Erika leads by example every day, and this year she has come a long way to become a vocal leader as well. She is our program captain and the person we count on when we need to side out or change momentum. After one match she was disappointed with how the team performed and arranged an extra practice before school the next day at 6 a.m. Erika demonstrates everything a coach can hope for in a program captain.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean


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