Life as a freshman at the University of Charleston!


This week Volleylink caught up with our first NCAA athlete who has spent his freshman season making big strides towards a successful university journey. Max Senica, the young outside hitter originally from Queensland has recently spent his first season at the University of Charleston, in the NCAA's EIVA conference. Max is one of the very few Aussie's playing in a NCAA Division 1 team and will be an athlete to watch in the coming years. Let's hear what Max had to say about his journey in America thus far exclusively for Volleylink.

1.     Which University do you play for, what course do you study and what year of eligibility are you currently in?

I play for the University of Charleston in West Virginia in the NCAA Division 1 EIVA conference. I’m currently completing my degree in Business Administration and I’m a freshman (first year) student.

2.     Can you please sum up your overall NCAA experience for the 2017/18 season?

My experience playing in the NCAA has been incredibly honourable and invaluable in learning how to conduct yourself not only with sport but also with your studies. It challenges you as a young adult to manage your personal life and sporting career without the constant assistance from parents which has helped me significantly grow in such a short time.

3.     Why did you choose to play in the NCAA initially how did it come about?

The NCAA for me felt like the right fit in terms of competition and challenges that I wanted to face during my college career. With the Division 1 competition housing teams like Ohio State and Penn State, the opportunity to face these players and compete with some of the best college kids in the world was too good to pass upon. Through some dedicated recruiting by my father and fortunate timing I was offered a scholarship late in 2017 to begin school that same year. Even though I was unsure whether to wait an extra year to develop my skills, the chance to play Division 1 was too good to give up and I decided to leave Australian borders for this fantastic opportunity.

4.     What has been your focus in your first season at Charleston?

My focus this first season has been to absorb as much information and tactics as possible to gain an in-depth understanding of how the NCAA works and what the other teams are like. From there, we as a team stress the importance of implementing key game plans through our film sessions to achieve success.

5.     What is your plans for the offseason, will you return back to Australia?

 This off-season I will be returning to Australia once my final exams have finished. From there I will spend some much needed time strengthening my body and relaxing at home before heading down to the Australians Institute of Sport to begin preparations for the upcoming Asian Juniors competition.

6.     What advice would you give to young Aussie’s interested in the university pathway?

 My biggest piece of advice would be to start planning your pathway at least a year ahead of when you want to be recruited. Preparing a highlights video and organising ahead of time makes the process much easier and allows more colleges to hopefully see your ability and skills.

 7.     A lot of Australian athletes are choosing to continue their university careers in Canada, why did you choose America and what is your NCAA goals?

 I’ve always dreamt of being able to compete in the NCAA and I love the passion American’s have for college and professional sports. Not only is a sporting career a major goal of mine but succeeding in the financial sector post-volleyball is something I’d love to achieve and with the US a driving factor in world economy networking and understanding their values and culture within the business world is very important.

Quick Fire Questions:

1.     My favourite volleyball drill is?  I love playing Vollice (tennis and volleyball combined)

2.     American accents? Definite yes and fun to impersonate

3.     The Student Athlete Lifestyle? Challenging but enjoyable

4.     Favourite American food: Philly Cheese Steak

5.     Biggest rival NCAA team: Anyone we lose to is my rival

6.     Sleeveless Jerseys? Yes or No-Preferably sleeveless

7.     Most idolised Volleyball player? Earvin Ngapeth

8.     What is your volleyball nickname? None yet

9.     Favourite team-mate: Too many to choose from

10.  What is your dream job? CEO of my own company

11.  Best time to play volleyball: Evening

12.  What is your biggest addiction? Winning

13.  What is the best thing about the Campus at Charleston? Everything is very close

14.  The thing I miss most about Australia is: Constant warm weather

15.  Where is the worst place you could get stuck? Down a well

16.  What is your favourite cuisine? Greek

17.  If I played professional volleyball, what league would I aim for? Serie A1

18.  Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? Lunch by the beach

19.  If I played another sport in college, what would that be? Soccer, I have been known to occasionally incorporate some of my skills on the court for fun.

20.  One word to describe the volleyball player you are? Poised


Matthew Hender