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Quarantine Q&A with Mac May

Sep 16, 2020

In the eighth installment of Quarantine Q&A, catch up with Mac May of the UCLA women's volleyball team. May, the lone senior on the 2020-2021 roster, is coming off back-to-back, All-American seasons and was the 2019 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year. In 2019, she ranked ninth in the nation in points per set (5.47), tied for ninth in the country in kills per set (4.83) and first in the conference with 0.35 service aces per set.
 
Q: What is it about volleyball that made you want to play?
A: I grew up watching my older sister play, and I always loved everything about the sport: the ball control, the competition and the team aspect.
 
Q: When did you know you wanted to come to UCLA?
A: After my very first visit to campus my junior year of high school. I immediately fell in love with the campus, and everything felt like a perfect fit. I loved the people, the prestigious academics, the competitive volleyball team, and the prominence of John Wooden's philosophy.
 
Q: At what point in your early playing career did you realize that you could compete in volleyball at the collegiate level?
A: My lifelong dream has always been to play volleyball at the highest levels: collegiately, professionally, and at the Olympics. To see that future come to fruition around my eighth-grade year when college coaches started reaching out was incredible.

Q: Where is the most interesting place the sport of volleyball has taken you?
A: Volleyball has taken me all over the United States and the World, but some of the most interesting places are Costa Rica, Prague, Slovenia, Italy, and Hawai'i.
 
Q: Do you have any tricks or routines you do before a match?
A: Before a match, I listen to my music and do a lot of dancing!
 
Q: With the events of COVID-19 taking place, what sort of extracurricular activities and hobbies have you been able to partake in?
A: Going to the beach has been a fun activity that is easy to incorporate physical distancing.
 
Q: What are you studying at UCLA and why?
A: I am studying Sociology at UCLA because the subject is very interesting, and I have learned a lot about the inner workings of society and social issues. The information is also applicable to working with teammates and understanding myself as a player.
 
Q: Can you please share your interests in a potential career beyond volleyball and what spurred you in that direction?
A: My career plan is more volleyball. I want to play professionally in a different country and pursue National Team aspirations. After that, I hope to spread my knowledge to others by coaching or sport broadcasting.
 
Q: What do you feel is your greatest volleyball accomplishment to date?
A: I would say being selected as the Pac-12 Player of the Year last season is my greatest accomplishment because it really stemmed from a lot of hard work over a long period of time.
 
Q: And what was your reaction when you were selected the Pac-12 Player of the Year?
A: I was completely in shock. There are a lot of great players in the Pac-12, and to be selected out of them was a complete honor. The entire team also played a crucial role in the reception of this award. Overall, I am entirely grateful to the people who have helped me, humbled by that experience, and ready to continue working hard.
 
Q: Being from Iowa, what did it mean to you to be able to play in front of your family and friends when going to Wisconsin to play in the 2019 NCAA Tournament?
A: Playing in Wisconsin with all my friends and family there to watch was beyond special. I could not believe that we were selected to play there for the NCAA Tournament. I used to go to summer camps in the UW Field House, and I think of it as part of my path as a volleyball player. Revisiting it years later with my current teammates, family members, and friends was very sentimental.
 
Q: How do you feel about the postponement of the upcoming 2020 volleyball season to after the calendar year?
A: The postponement of our season is pretty disappointing, but I think it may be a blessing in disguise. All the changes and timeline switches have opened up different avenues and new opportunities for my life. Also, with this time off, the team will have more time to prepare and train.

Q: If you could give your freshman year-self any advice or tips, what would it be?
A: I would tell Freshman Mac to get way more serve receive and defensive reps, take care of her body, and to cherish her time.

Q: What is your best UCLA memory?
A: There are so many good ones to choose from but either our first National Championship for beach volleyball in 2017, sweeping Stanford at home in 2019, or playing in front of my family and friends in Wisconsin in 2019.

Previous Quarantine Q&As
Alex Olesinski - Men's Basketball
Abi Altick - Women's Tennis
Savvy Simo - Beach Volleyball
Dakota Stanly - Track & Field
Shea Pitts - Football
Lauren Brzykcy - Women's Soccer
Eric Iloski - Men's Soccer