Aug 29, 2013
By Grace Duggan, Mizzou Strategic Communications Assistant
Carly Kan, a freshman for the Missouri volleyball program, is one of two recruits from the state of Hawaii and the first Hawaiian recruit for coach Wayne and Susan Kreklow. Carly first decided to come to Missouri because she fell in love with everything from the coaches to the players to the campus. "A feeling just came over me that this is the place I wanted to go," said Kan.
Carly comes from a family of athletes including her father, who played professional football and a brother who played quarterback at USC behind current Philadelphia Eagles QB Matt Barkley. Carly enjoyed growing up in an athletic family, "It was fun. I really like sports and my family, too," said Kan. Carly's father was an influential person in her life and also knows that her mother pushed her in positive ways.
At six years old, Carly began to play volleyball in neighborhood leagues and began to play club volleyball when she was in fourth grade. "It really took off from there," said Kan.
One of Carly's role models was a Hawaiian volleyball player by the name of Kanani Danielson. Kanani attended the University of Hawaii and was only 5-10. Carly is 5-9. "She is my height and a hitter so she has been kind of the `I can do it' in the college level because she is doing it. Even though she is small she just keeps going" said Kan on Danielson "I admire her for that."
Graduating in 2013 from Punahou High School, Carly left with many awards and accomplishments. She was named a first-team high school All-American by Volleyball Magazine and led her team to an 18-1 record and a Hawaii Division I State Volleyball Title in 2012. Punahou is also the high school that President Barack Obama attended.
While being recruited, Carly was unaware that one of her childhood teammates and high school rivals was being recruited by Missouri as well, Loxley Keala. Carly and Loxley go back to a young age of playing soccer together. In high school, they attended rival high schools and played on different club teams. The pair ended up combining forces to compete as beach partners in a sand volleyball league. "Now that we are here, we have gotten closer, because Hawaii girls have to stick together," said Carly.
Missouri weather is what Carly finds will be her biggest adjustment during the winter, but she has had a bit of a culture shock after arriving in Missouri. "Coming from Hawaii, a lot of people are actually Asian, and it is a little different there," said Kan. Carly has adjusted well to her new home and has had some positive experience with the team. "I really enjoy just playing for Missouri and being here. I really like it so far so I hope that continues."
Carly and the rest of the Missouri volleyball team have bonded together and are committed to a positive year for the team. As a freshman, Carly has seen the differences even after one scrimmage of the differences in play between high school and college. "Obviously, we have a fan base already. There is just a higher level of play. The college level is way fast and cleaner. It is a little different from Hawaii, just because in high school it was slower. This is more competitive," said Kan.
While Carly adjusts to the fast pace of Division I volleyball, she still enjoys her old hobby of singing and dancing. "I just like to sing to any song that come on. If a song comes on, I will probably start singing it. I really like to tap dance," she says.
As the season approaches, Carly is optimistic the Tigers can put together a great season. "I am trying to stay optimistic and I hope we can have a really good season and year. I am looking forward to the amount of competition in the SEC and I wouldn't have seen it in high school. I am excited for the next level," said Kan. The next level involves the SEC with only two volleyball players from the state of Hawaii, and Missouri has them both.