Who’s Who: Sydney McLaren


Allie Hartman, Visual Editor

Sydney McLaren has loved volleyball since the moment she has started playing, all the way back in first grade. Her first memory of the game was begging her mom (and then coach at the time) to start playing club volleyball. Ever since then, she hasn’t looked back.

“I love the competitiveness of the sport, the team aspect, and the joy it brings me.” 

Sophomore, McLaren, is from Council Bluffs, Iowa where she attended St. Albert’s High School. At Buena Vista, she is studying Rehabilitation Health Science. Last season, McLaren tallied up a total of 267 kills on the year, her highest kills per game were 26. This season, Sydney is third in the conference for kills averaging 3.38 per set. Her best game thus far has been against Concordia with season high 30 kills.  

“She leads by example but has a humbleness about her. Volleyball is a team sport. Her flashy kills aren’t possible without everyone on the floor in a game, and our whole team preparing each other in practice. She really understands that and wants to see the team succeed above all,” says head coach, Aubrey Havlichek who is entering her second season as head coach.  

 Havlichek adds to McLaren’s contribution to the team, “On the court Syd embodies what a successful 6 rotation outside is. She’s a go-to-hitter with a bag of tricks, not always having to rely on bouncing a ball. Her consisting in serve receive is essential to set up our offense. She makes excellent reads and gets good touches defensively.”  

McLaren’s favorite volleyball memory takes her back to her high school years.  

“My favorite memory would be when my high school team made it to the semifinals at state for the first time. Playing at the state volleyball tournament is an unreal experience, and I am so lucky to have been able to do it three years in a row. Being chosen for all tournament team was an honor as well, especially since I was standing next to some players who now play at the Division 1 level,” McLaren says.   

When it comes to her biggest influence, McLaren says with full confidence, “My mom.” 

“My mom has always been my biggest supporter. From traveling hours to watch my games, all of the late nights driving me to my club practices, waiting up after all of my games to talk, pre-game inspirational text messages, and so much more. She has been my rock through it all and always has my back. I am so grateful to have learned leadership, dedication, hard work, humility, and so many other traits from her. I wouldn’t be the person or player I am today without her,” states McLaren.  

With her season underway, her coachs expectations are simple, keep doing what she’s doing but to also become more of a vocal leader.  

“Our expectations of Syd are to keep doing what she has been, but to also continue her game IQ and take on more of a vocal leadership role. She comes in everyday ready to work and we never have to question what Syd will show up. Her future is bright and we are excited about the career she can have here as a Beaver and how it will impact the program in the direction we are trying to take it,” says Havlichek 

For the rest of the season for McLaren, she can’t wait to start conference play.  

“Although the start of the season hasn’t gone as we’d hoped, I’m looking forward to continuing to make our team known. We are young but we have so much potential and depth, I am really looking forward to starting our conference matches and making our mark. And of course, I would love nothing more to end our season in the conference championship.”  

Catch Sydney and the rest of the Women’s Volleyball team at home this week, on Wednesday, against Nebraska Wesleyan @ 7p.m. and Saturday [Homecoming] against Bethany Lutheran @ 3 p.m.