Thursday Trifecta - Wyoming's Erin Kirby
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Welcome to Thursday’s Trifecta. Each week, one Mountain West student-athlete will be featured by answering a series of questions.
Stopping by today is Wyoming senior Erin Kirby. The Evanston, Wyoming, native is a two-sport star for the Cowgirls, participating in volleyball and track and field. A three-time All-Mountain West honoree in volleyball, the middle blocker currently holds the school record for career hitting percentage at .345, and is second all-time with 615 blocks. She needs just four more blocks to top the record set by Melody Friehauf, who played at Wyoming from 1997 to 2000. Kirby recorded a career-high 16 kills against Ball State on Sept. 5, 2014. On the track, Kirby has garnered three All-MW accolades (2011 MW Outdoor Championships and 2012 MW Indoor and Outdoor Championships). As a freshman in 2011, she won the 400 Hurdles at the MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Kirby, who maintains a 3.359 grade-point average in speech, language and hearing science, was recently selected as one of 30 NCAA women’s volleyball candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must have notable achievements in the classroom, community, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. For more information, visit SeniorClassAward.com.
Question: You’re a two-sport athlete (volleyball and track). Can you explain to Mountain West fans what it’s like trying juggle competing in two sports with a full class schedule?
Answer: It’s challenging, but all of my coaches do a good job with my schedules so that I don’t feel overwhelmed, especially when the sports overlap. This year will be a little different in that I won’t be playing spring volleyball, so I can just focus on track. I think it helps that I played both sports in high school, so I had an idea of how to balance my time between practice, games and school.
Q: As a speech, language and hearing science major, have you thought about what you’d like to do career-wise once you graduate?
A: There’s a lot of things I can do with my major, but I know that whatever it is, I want to focus on working with kids. My focus is on speech therapy and it makes me feel good to help kids work through challenges they face. I’ve thought a lot recently about coaching volleyball; the sport has given me so much and I’d like to be able to give back what I’ve learned to kids that are coming up in the sport.
Q: You’ve done a lot of volunteer work in the community. As someone that has grown up in the state of Wyoming, what does that mean to you to be able to give back to people from your home state?
A: The support we get from the people in Wyoming is great. They are so friendly and are always there to cheer us on at our matches. Giving back to the community feels normal to me because I’ve grown up doing it. The reactions you get from the people you help is the best part of volunteering your time.
Do you have a student-athlete you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Thursday Trifecta? Contact Dan Johnson at djohnson@TheMW.com