Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

The Boryc File
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It is in the libero’s convention to serve as the defensive specialist on the volleyball court. Yet, there are instances when the libero is part of the offensive attack, recording an unusual kill. For sophomore libero Katrina Boryc, the spontaneity of her first collegiate kill came as a shock to her.

Boryc is a key source to the women’s volleyball team’s success in the 2009 season. In 92 sets, she has 215 digs and 31 service aces.

George Mason University is currently in the midst of competing in the postseason, which will be their first appearance since the 2007 season.

Boryc, originally from Naperville, Ill., came to Mason after helping her high school volleyball team win a conference championship in her senior year. Whereas certain areas produce very talented athletes in certain sports, volleyball has been known for its dominance in the Chicago area.

“Volleyball is big where I live,” said Boryc. “I started [playing] in fourth grade. I live a couple blocks away from this big volleyball center and everyone in my area – everyone from Chicago – loves volleyball.”

As a member of the Waubonsie Valley Warriors, Boryc engraved her name into the school history books as the first player to have started in her freshman year and earn four varsity letters. Her next move was to play for Head Coach Pat Kendrick, referred to as PK, who at the time accomplished her 400th career win.

“A lot of my decision [to attend Mason] had to do with the coaches, PK especially,” said Boryc. “I just felt like she was a coach you could go and talk to about things, and Dottie [Porch] was also that type of person there – very knowledgeable.”

From there, Boryc decided to attend Mason, where she planned on majoring in nursing.

Most of Boryc’s life revolves around volleyball. Boryc, the youngest of three in her family, joined her two other sisters in playing collegiate volleyball. Sarahanne, the oldest, played with the Appalachian State Mountaineers from 2001-2005. Rachel is currently in her junior year with the Georgia State Panthers.

Despite taking opposite sides of the court, Katrina and Rachel have a close-knit relationship.

“First of all, playing against my sister is just a love battle,” said Boryc. “I played with her all throughout high school, so I was always digging her, but she would [still] get kills on me sometimes.”

Whether it is having the fun rivalry with her sister or playing against the marquee opponents, Boryc contends that her volition is her most unique characteristic.

As a libero, Boryc is the eyes and ears of the court. According to Boryc, “the libero is the one person that can always see the entire court and can always talk to everyone on the court.” Even though freshman libero Koala Matsuoka has recently been anointed as a starter, Boryc is still a key factor to the team’s success.

“It is mostly that we both just want the team to do the best [it] can,” said Boryc. “If [Matsuoka] is doing really well one week, I am going to want her to play because I want our team to progress, or if I am doing really well one week, then I am sure she feels the same way.”

The competitive spirit has been an important part in their healthy relationship.

“I have tried many times, and some people can do it, but it is like you have to do it to the ‘Macarena,’” said Boryc on attempting to pronounce Matsuoka’s full name, Koalaanuheamaikalani.

Last season, Boryc did not record a single kill, but in a match against the Towson Tigers this season, she achieved the rare feat. Not only had it been a shock to the opponents and her own teammates, but it was also a surprise to Boryc.

“[Recording my first kill] was exciting. I was not expecting it at all,” said Boryc. “It came as a shock, but anytime I put a ball over the net, I try to make it as aggressive as I can and not look into giving them an easy ball.”

Boryc currently has 0.01 kills per set this season. It is highly unpredictable when she will register her second career kill, but it is in the nature of the game for spontaneous forces to emerge.

“[If I record a second kill], I would probably do my same old thing, where I get excited and jump up and down,” said Boryc.