Athlete of the Week: Ryan Impey

An exclusive interview with Ryan Impey, a member of the new men’s volleyball team and this semester’s first Athlete of the Week.


photo supplied by COD Athletics

Lily Goodfellow, Sports Writer

Athlete of the Week: Ryan Impey

Sport: Men’s Volleyball

Position: Outside Hitter

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Naperville IL

High School: Naperville Central 


Lily Goodfellow: When did you start playing volleyball?

Ryan Impey: I started playing my freshman year in high school.


LG: What are your goals with volleyball?

RI: Originally, my goal was to play D1 [Division 1]. But as time went on I realized that I am not tall enough to do that. So, now I hope to just make it into the top D3 schools and play some volleyball there.


LG: How do you think the team will do this season?

RI: If we can be more consistent, I feel like we’ll win a lot [more]. We’ve just got to get to that consistency level. But I think we’ll do alright. We’ll win a couple games and we’ll lose some.


LG: What are some of your rituals before a game?

RI: So my team actually made this volleyball cap the other day. It’s a cutout of a volleyball and it’s kind of like a helmet. We all signed our names on it and I guess we wear that on the bus to  games.


LG: That’s funny. How have your coaches helped you?

RI: They’ve made me improve a lot. Every coach that I’ve had always has taught me something new, whether it be a random coach from a club or from a summer camp to a coach in high school or college.


LG: How do your teammates make practice fun?

RI: We do this thing where we just yell at each other and say mean things to each other in a fun way, just to get our energy up and not to get pissed off if we do something wrong.


LG: Who are some of your role models in sports?

RI: I don’t know how to pronounce his name, but I’m pretty sure he’s on [Japan’s] Olympic team. He plays right side and I just love watching him play volleyball.


LG: What about that player makes you want to watch him play?

RI: He’s a really short guy on the court and you can’t really be short and play volleyball. But because of his vertical and the way he hits the ball, he can basically jump insanely high and then he does these really weird shots where he swings to the right but then the ball ends up going to the left. I just love watching him because he has the most insane plays. 


LG: Who has been your biggest supporter?

RI: I probably have to say my mom. She grew up playing volleyball so she got me and my two sisters to play it and kind of introduced us to the sport.


LG: What motivates you?

RI: I don’t know honestly. I just go out there and have a lot of fun playing volleyball.


LG: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

RI: Japan.


LG: Why Japan?

RI:  Because my role model is there and I want to see him and meet him. I want to watch him play.


LG: What one word best describes you?

RI: Hardworking.


LG: Thank you Ryan! Good luck this season!