Being the lone ranger can be tough and a lonely road at times. Senior Kalynne Allen had that title for three straight years.
Allen has been the only Wildcat volleyball player from her class since her sophomore year, but she handled the situation with maturity and always carried a positive attitude about it.
“That was a hard transition,” Allen said. “But it taught me independence. I didn’t have people to rely on like the other girls so it was a good life lesson.”
“It’s a lonely prospect to be on a small team and be the only one in your class,” said head coach Kellen Mock. “We haven’t had that in ACU volleyball in a long time. Grae Grimes in the fall of 2002 was the last time I had a solo senior.”
“It molds and changes you because you have to rely more on yourself than on others,” Mock said. “That’s part of the reason she’s so strong and tough. She’s learned to be so self reliant.”
Junior Madelyn Robinett said Allen was always encouraging the group and was a vocal leader on the court.
“Being a freshman can be hard but Kalynne was extremely welcoming toward those girls,” Robinett said. “She was very willing to mentor anyone on the team. She pushed us but it was never for selfish reasons.”
Allen had one of her best seasons at ACU despite a rough year in which injuries, inconsistency and youth kept the ‘Cats from getting above .500.
She whacked 61 kills an average of 1.33 per set. She dug out 53 balls and was fifth on the team in total points (78.0, average of 1.70 per set).
Allen may not have broken into the record books like 2011 stars Jennie Hutt or Kelsie Edwards but she was still proud of the way she handled the diversity.
“I may not have been in a lot of online write ups, but I was very satisfied with my personal consistency,” she said.
“Kalynne could do a little of everything which meant so much to the team,” Mock said. “That’s what set her apart. She could perform everywhere.”
Allen spent countless hours on the court in her four years at ACU however, she is also highly respected outside of volleyball.
“She is very caring and aware of people’s feelings and is a great friend,” Robinett said.
Coach Mock said Allen is also very involved with her faith, academics and family.
“There is a lot more to Kalynne than just playing the sport,” she said.
Allen will have her teacher’s certification in social studies when she graduates in May. She applied to graduate school at Texas A&M University but is also considering teaching high school in the fall.