Player profile: Kellee Mahaffey
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“Being a college athlete is definitely the most surreal feeling, in a good way of course. It’s a major accomplishment for anyone, including myself, and it’s just a whole different ball game. The best of the best play college volleyball so the game is more intense and so much more fun to play,” said junior volleyball player Kellee Mahaffey.
Mahaffey comes from Coal City and majors in social work at UIS. Mahaffey is the daughter of Walt and Lynne Mahaffey and began her volleyball career in fifth grade. Mahaffey played all four years of volleyball at Coal City High school.
Mahaffey was all-area selection for her high school and was also a three time member of the Manteno All-Tournament Team.
Growing up Mahaffey was a three-sport athlete; however, by eighth grade, she realized she wanted to continue volleyball. “From there I dropped all other sports and played volleyball year round,” Mahaffey said
One of Mahaffey’s most memorable moments was when she was a sophomore in high school. “My club team made it to the championship for the 16-club division at AAUs. Although we didn’t win it was a huge accomplishment for us,” Mahaffey said.
As a senior, Mahaffey was named Free Press Newspaper’s sportswoman of the year, another exciting moment she experienced in high school was during her senior year. “We got third place in the Chicago Latin tournament which was the highest any [Coal City Volleyball] team has placed,” Mahaffey said.
After graduating high school, Mahaffey attended UIS on a scholarship. “I was interested in playing at UIS because of not only my scholarship, but also because I loved the school, the team and loved that it was closer to home. I’m very close to my family so not being able to see them would be kind of disheartening for me,” she said.
During the 2010 season, Mahaffey’s first year being part of the UIS program, she saw action in all 30 contests. In five games, Mahaffey had double digit kills and was on the UIS athletic director’s academic honor roll for both semesters.
In the 2011 season, Mahaffey’s second year, she was second on the team with 219 kills. Mahaffey, and was again on the honor roll for both semesters.
For the upcoming season, Mahaffey looks forward to the new talent coming in. “We are all so eager to make it to the GLVC tournament next season, so I am extremely excited to accomplish that goal and make UIS history. We have nowhere to go but up this next season and up is where we intend to go,” Mahaffey said. “Now thanks to our coach, Noelle Rooke, we have all improved immensely and constantly want to learn new things.”