Kalyah Williams has a degree in Sports Management from Washington State University (Courtesy of USC Athletics)

Grad student middle blocker Kalyah Williams has made positive contributions to the USC women’s volleyball team. This is her first season with USC after spending her undergrad years competing for Washington State.

Williams helped the Women of Troy come in second in Pac-12 rankings with an 8-2 conference record and 16-5 overall record. USC recently had a seven-game winning streak. She had a season-high of 15 points and 13 kills during their game against UNI on September 2. She is averaging 2.51 points, 0.72 digs, and 0.9 blocks per game.

Williams is a native of Long Beach and an alum of Long Beach Poly. She is elated to be back in her hometown.

“I really am enjoying being back home and Just being able to see family super frequently,” Williams said. “Being able to see girls that I went to school with that kinda looked up to me and just see where they are now too. Some of them are even on my team.”

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As a freshman at Washington State, Williams was sidelined with an injury for the season. This allowed her to learn from her teammates the high level of passionate and competitive energy that is needed to compete at the college level.

“That’s one thing that I did inherit from them it’s just my passion and love for the game and how intense I am when I play,” Williams said. “I think redshirting really put that in perspective, like being able to take a step back and watch people do their thing and then learn how I wanted to do it.”

Williams earned her bachelors’ degree in sports management at Washington State University. While there, she did an internship with the Detroit Pistons. Her main project was working with prospective picks during their draft workouts.

“They would come in and I was basically their point of contact,” Williams said. “Just being able to go from not having any work experience at all, but still being comfortable to communicate with athletes and be able to connect with them during that whole process is really cool.”

To Williams, being a student athlete means being ready to put in high levels of work in competing and studying knowing that it will pay off.

“I think it takes a different breed to actually endure this lifestyle for so long,” she said. “For the years you’re in high school still putting in that work and then you can get to college … where the competition is super crazy.”

Since her high school years, Williams has been a member of the Fellowship for Christian Athletes (FCA) as her faith played a part of her athletic career. She was also a Student Commissioner of Girls’ Athletics at Long Beach Poly.

“I always thought that was important, just allowing student athletes to have a voice in things that they don’t think they should have a voice in,” Williams said. “So just raising that awareness, letting them know that it’s definitely an area that you can speak up in.”