Sept. 10, 2008
Sophomore Alix Klineman is an All-American outside hitter from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Last season, Alix led the team with 4.12 kpg and was named the Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year and a second-team AVCA All-American. She spent the winter and spring training with the U.S. National Team in Colorado Springs, the youngest player to be part of the training team. This year, Alix is once again one of the top offensive players on the squad (2.83 kps) and will be a key player for Stanford as the team gears up for a run towards the national title.
Growing up in Manhattan Beach, did you play on the beach when you were younger?
Yes, I played a lot of beach volleyball growing up. Throughout middle school and the beginning of high school, I played in just about any tournament I could. I mostly played in youth tournaments; however, I did get my AAA and came within one match of qualifying for the AVP once. Beach volleyball is definitely different than indoor volleyball. Yes, it requires the same basic skills, but the dynamics of the game are very different. Indoor volleyball is very quick and complex. Beach volleyball is very tough physically (because you are playing in the sand) and has a little more finesse since more off-speed shots are involved.
Growing up in Manhattan Beach is probably the reason I play volleyball. I actually started out playing on the beach when I was about 8 or 9 just doing summer camps. Because Manhattan Beach is such a volleyball community, I think it was inevitable that I would start playing. Hopefully, I will have a chance to play on the AVP after college and maybe even make a career out of that.
What was it like training with the U.S. National Team in the offseason?
Training with the National Team throughout the winter and spring was a very unique and special experience. Not only did I get the chance to play for some great coaches, I got to play with and learn from the best players in the country. Going overseas and representing our national team was something I have never done before and was extremely exciting. The biggest difference between college volleyball and international volleyball is just that you have to master every skill. Because there are only six substitutions per game it's really important, that unless you're a middle, that you can play all the way around. While training with the National Team, I lived in the dorms at the OTC (Olympic Training Center) in Colorado Springs, CO. The training was definitely as (or more) intense than I expected. We usually trained about twice a day, six days a week. I spent the majority of my time sleeping, playing volleyball, going to rehab, and eating. Being the youngest player is both intimidating and exciting. I just used the training as a learning experience and tried to absorb as much as possible from the people around me.
Where is the most interesting place you have traveled to play volleyball?
It's hard to pick one place that was the best. Out of all the countries I have traveled to for volleyball, Italy was probably my favorite. However, playing in Mexico this summer was pretty neat just because it was my first official tournament with the National Team. I actually got play against other National Teams, and I got to see how their style of volleyball differed.
Anything you're "addicted to" or spend a lot of time doing?
One thing that most people would agree is that I am addicted to chocolate. I love food in general, and I definitely have a weakness for dark chocolate. A lot of people give me a hard time because I am ALWAYS thinking about food. The other day, someone had a bag of Dove dark chocolates. Inside the wrapper, there were a lot of corny sayings. I opened my chocolate, read the saying, and crumpled it up. Later, when people were telling what was inside theirs, I recited the message that was on my chocolate (without looking at the wrapper): "One chocolate is better than a dozen roses." A few seconds later I open my wrapper back up and realize it said, "One smile is better than a dozen roses." People were cracking up because it was just so typical that I would automatically think it had said something about food and that chocolate is all I can ever think about.
How would you spend a day with no school or volleyball?
A day with no school or volleyball would definitely be spent at the beach with my friends. I love being outdoors and growing up at the beach, I have always loved the ocean.
Describe something you're NOT good at.
I forget everything! Usually it's just leaving small things in the wrong place, but almost every day I have misplaced or forgotten something. Most recently, I left my keys (to my car, room, and mail box) in my brother's car and was without them for the entire weekend!