Kryssi Daniels brings passion to the volleyball courtBy Terrin Waack | 10/23/2015 5:27pm
09-12-15 WVB Virginia #6 Kryssi Daniels. Photo courtesy of UA Athletics
Kryssi Daniels has been a die-hard Alabama fan as far back as she can remember.
She was originally committed to Middle Tennessee State for volleyball, but two months before she was supposed to arrive on campus, her dream came true. Coach Ed Allen offered her the opportunity to play the sport she loves at the university she loves.
“The things that probably attracted us most to Kryssi: number one is she and her family are huge Alabama fans, two is that she’s a really passionate kid with what she is involved with both as a student and a volleyball player, and three is she was a kid that better us better, physically made us better,” Allen said.
This 2015 season marks her fourth year playing with the Crimson Tide. Since her freshman year, Allen said Daniels has improved as a passer and a defender.
Daniels totals 139 digs just over halfway through this season. She is also one of the team’s most consistent servers with a 0.914 serving percentage.
“She has the ability to be very tough at the line,” he said.
It was a dream come true being able to play for Alabama and Daniels said it’s been everything she could have imagined, and more.
“Coming here I was like, ‘Wow, let’s see where this ride takes me’ and it has taken me for a ride. It’s been – and will be – one of the best experiences ever,” Daniels said.
Her Alabama pride is noticed by teammates as well.
Fellow senior Sierra Wilson said Daniels is one of the team’s most outspoken players when it comes to the Alabama-Auburn rivalry.
Wilson, being an out-of-state student unlike Daniels, finds watching football games to be highly entertaining. Daniels gets really into the commentary and her Alabama pride is seen as a positive thing, especially among her team.
“We’re not just wearing the A as volleyball players, we’re wearing the A as students as well,” Wilson said. “She exemplifies that.”
Her love for the school isn’t enough to fill up Daniel’s heart, because she has something else. Her faith is the most important part of her life.
“I am a Christian first, athlete second,” she said.
Between working towards her masters in Sports Business Management and playing volleyball, Daniels said she is unable to make it to church every Sunday, but that doesn’t reflect upon her relationship with Christ. Daniels is the one who leads the team prayer before every match.
“She definitely sets an example through her faith,” Wilson said.
Outside of school and volleyball, Daniels is a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Action.
Although she is working towards her masters, Daniels said she doesn’t know what she wants to with her future. She knows she wants to do something with athletics – maybe continue to do something with FCA or in the athletics department at Alabama – but that’s about it. She doesn’t have a plan or any idea what she wants to do, but she isn’t worried. She believes she’ll end up where she belongs.
“I’m just keeping my options open,” Daniels said. “I have a lot of interests, but I’m just waiting for the Lord to lead me where I’m supposed to be after I finish my eligibility as an athlete.”
Until that moment comes, she’s embracing every last moment she has as an Alabama student-athlete. She loves every chance she gets to say, ‘Oh, I play volleyball at the University of Alabama.’
She makes the most of every opportunity she has, not just now but through all four years she’s been able to play for Alabama. She works hard day in and day out, and Allen said she has the most important quality a coach could want – she’s dependable.
Daniels work ethic is one other members of the team look to mirror – regardless of their year.
“If she’s setting an example for me as an upperclassman, she definitely is for the underclassmen as well,” Wilson said.