Athlete Spotlight: Krystian Roldan, the volleyball menace


Photo by Lifetouch

Tri-athlete Krystian Roldan competes in a number of sports, but prefers volleyball.

By Ray Gonzalez, Reporter

What sport do you play?

This year, I am playing three sports. I am playing football, volleyball, and I’m doing track. All at the same time. My favorite out of the three is probably volleyball.

What’s your position in volleyball? 

Actually I’m kinda like an all-around player. There’s obviously different positions; wherever Coach puts me, I’m able to play. But I usually play outside hitter.

How’d you get into volleyball?

It was really started in middle school – seventh grade – one semester, I tried it out. I found out how much fun I was having. You know, my height, I’m only like 5’8″, 5’9″, though. I’m shorter, but I’m going up against guys that are like 6’2, 6’3.

Even though I’m like 5’8 5’9, I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. My vertical is really good, I think, right now. I can reach 10’4″ with my vertical, which is above the basketball rim. So I can jump pretty high. I found that I was not really your stereotypical volleyball player. An outside hitter is usually 6’3″, 6’4″, but I’m able to stand out in a positive way.

Roldan shares his excitement with teammates on Senior Night. (Photo by Lifetouch)

Did you have trouble getting into volleyball because of your height?

Yeah, I did have trouble at the start. I was like, “Oh man, I can’t jump that high.” Even though I am able to jump high, they are still taller than me, so they can still jump as well. As I got older, I got into volleyball more passionately, [and] I started meeting taller guys who are better.

I think being able to play everywhere is kinda a struggle. I know it sounds odd, but even though I can play anywhere I needed to be, I only want to be in one spot. But Coach puts me somewhere else, so that the only other struggle I had.

You can’t get used to that one position because you’re getting moved around. Makes sense. Was your height the only problem you had in volleyball? 

Yeah, I think it was only my height because my endurance was really high.

In basketball, you have to have high endurance, high stamina, stuff like that. You got to be able to use your legs for a long time. So in volleyball, when I’m jumping, and then blocking, and then jumping again, you know, it’s jumping after jumping. It’s kinda like the basketball sprint down, sprint back.

Did track help you in volleyball?

Actually, in track, I did field events. So, it’s called track and field: track is the running part, so doing sprints and stuff, but I did the field part, like the triple jump. And it really helped me with my explosiveness. It helped with volleyball even more, in my opinion, than track did.

Photo by Lifetouch

For someone [who] doesn’t play volleyball, how is it played? How do you score and how do you win? [And] how do you help your team?

Volleyball is a really intense game, kinda like keeping the ball from touching the ground. You know, [a] little game of keep the ball in the air, but the best way to help your team is communication, and obviously instinctiveness or second nature to want to go get the ball and bring it up before it hits the ground. That’s another really big thing. It is hard to join a team and click just like that. But chemistry makes things ten times easier.

Are there any opponents, any like other schools, that are difficult to go against?

Definitely South Elgin is a big one there, kinda good at all the sports they play. It’s not that we don’t have a fighting chance against South Elgin, it’s just that South Elgin is just a really good school.

Glenbard East is pretty good, but other than that, I think we have a fighting chance against everybody.