Sports, Volleyball

UM volleyball athletes share similar backgrounds

Over the first 14 matches of the season, sophomore outside hitters Kolby Bird and Anna Haak have become fixtures in the Hurricanes starting rotation.

They both play integral roles on the team. Bird, who had a career-high 16 kills against UTSA on Sept. 2, continuously stuffs the stat sheet for Miami. Bird is third on the team in both kills (87) and blocks (30), and she has a solid 0.228 hitting percentage. Haak, who is known for flying through the air for ferocious slams, is second on the team with 146 kills this year and has three recorded double-doubles this season.

Bird and Haak’s journeys to Miami started more than 5,000 miles away from each other, yet the Canes share similar stories.

Bird, who grew up in San Diego, ­began her volleyball career in fourth grade.

“I grew up around it because my parents were both professional beach players in California,” Bird said. “They didn’t push me into it, but they suggested it, and I love the sport.”

Haak hails from Ängelholm, Sweden and started playing volleyball at age nine, around the same time Bird did halfway across the globe.

“My friend’s parents were starting a volleyball club in our town and my mom had played volleyball before, so I joined and I loved the sport,” Haak said.

While hard work and long hours honing their craft propelled the two outside hitters to collegiate volleyball, the road to Coral Gables wasn’t always easy.

“We all come from different areas all around the country and all around the globe, and it’s crazy how different you can play volleyball,” Bird said. “Coming in as freshmen, we had to basically start from scratch and learn a new system.”

Bird and Haak have received numerous personal accolades. Bird was named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team this month, and Haak earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors last season. Despite their individual successes, their sights remain set on capturing an ACC Championship this season.

Both players look to help the Hurricanes defeat ACC-foe Boston College at 7 p.m. on Friday. The match will take place at Knight Sports Complex as Miami seeks its first conference victory.

Correction, Oct. 3, 2016: This article previously referred to Kolby Bird as “he,” which is incorrect. “He” has been corrected to “she.”

September 28, 2016

Reporters

Josh White


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

It was obvious before tipoff that the University of Miami game against No. 5 Duke was no ordinary Hu ...

Miami Hurricanes backup quarterback Evan Shirreffs announced Monday on Twitter that he will transfer ...

Here’s one of the many neat things about the UM football program, a tradition that has carried on fo ...

Clemson coach Brad Brownell had a simple plan at the only practice before facing No. 18 Miami — don ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

UM launches three cyber security certificate programs to equip professionals for the growing employm ...

The second annual Big Data Conference and Workshop hosted by UM Center for Computational Science enc ...

Now in its 67th year, the Beaux Arts Festival will move to the Foote University Green. ...

UMIAMIFL also outperformed two key S&P benchmarks by more than nine percent. ...

Lonnie Walker IV scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough as the Canes fell to the Blue Devils at ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team took down Clemson behind a career-high 19 point ...

The University of Miami announced Monday that it has relieved Mary-Frances Monroe of her duties as h ...

As the University of Miami heads into 2018, check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Hurricanes and Blue Devils square off at 7 p.m. Monday. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.