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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Puerto Rican Volleyball Star Starts New Set

Olivia Kortman
Sophomore outside hitter Elena Maynulet spikes the ball in a win against Orangewood on October 11.

   The varsity volleyball team recently acquired a new sophomore superstar, Elena Maynulet. Maynulet spent all of her life in Puerto Rico until this summer when she moved to Orlando for better exposure and to enhance her game.

   Maynulet’s 6-foot-1-inch build and athleticism immediately puts her at an advantage over any opponent. Terri Kruczek, head girls varsity volleyball coach, said Maynulet’s height aids her games, but her skill is what makes her stand out above other players while on the court.

   “She excels with her arm swing, her ability to read the defense and know where to place the ball when she’s attacking,” Kruczek said.

   Maynulet started playing volleyball when she was eight years old while living in Puerto Rico and said her height attracted her to the sport.

   Over the next seven years, Maynulet dominated her competition and was invited to play with the Puerto Rican national team as a 15 year old. Maynulet was the youngest on the team and faced countries including the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Costa Rica in a worldwide qualifier in Oklahoma. She contributed to their fourth place finish, leading to the team’s qualification.

   Maynulet’s great performance impressed many teams, and she was soon recruited by the club, Gamepoint, who is currently ranked top 15 in the nation. She decided that the United States was where she could best prepare herself for the next level.

   “I mainly wanted to come because of the great exposure,” Maynulet said. “There is much more recruiting and high-level competition here.”

   Maynulet will be joining sophomores Sydney Davis and Victoria Hill on Gamepoint as well as at Trinity. She said that Hill and Davis influenced her to visit Trinity, and she was impressed with the school and coaching staff. The three sophomores are key contributors on the Trinity team and have started all games this year. Kruczek is certain that their talent is among the best in the nation.

   “I think they will develop great together,” Kruczek said. “They are all high Division I prospects. If they aren’t already, then they should be.”

   The three have a close relationship off the court, but that doesn’t affect their competitive nature. Their comparable skill levels drive them to outwork each other and get better.

   “Tori and Cece have helped and challenged me,” Maynulet said. “They’re both really talented. I was always the best one [in Puerto Rico], but here we’re all good and we complement each other.”

   Moving long distances can be very challenging for students, but Maynulet said that many players on the team have been inclusive and helpful during her move.

   “Everyone is super nice,” Maynulet said. “When I first got here, I never felt left out of anything, and I like the school because of how nice [my teammates] are.”

   Kruczek has been coaching for 25 years and is very impressed with Maynulet’s ability compared to her past players, especially for her age. 

   “She’s our outside hitter, and she’s amazing,” Kruczek said. “As far as her age, her height, her skill level, she’s right up there with the best players I’ve ever coached.”

   The team has a lot of talent, but Kruczek said Maynulet’s impact has definitely had a major influence on the team. Kruczek never subs her out and said that Maynulet is a key to the team’s success. 

   “She’s impacted in a very positive way,” Kruczek said. “The team feels more confident, and I feel like we can make a deeper run into the playoffs with her. She can serve, receive, she can play defense, she can really do it all and plays all six rotations.”

   Maynulet is optimistic about her future here and is excited to compete for Trinity. She said that her goal is to be recruited to play for a D1 school in the West Coast. Kruczek strives to push Maynulet to be the best player she can be, both on and off the court.

   “I just keep pushing her to improve every practice and not settle for just being good, but to be great every single day,” Kruczek said.

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About the Contributors
David Hull, Sports Editor
David Hull is a junior entering his third year on staff as editor of the sports department. In his free time, he constantly gets buckets on his friends (some compare him to Austin Reaves), watches "Friends" on repeat and scrolls through Instagram Reels because he is too stubborn to download TikTok. Contact him at [email protected].
Olivia Kortman, Co-Editor of Photography Department
Olivia Kortman is currently a senior entering her second year on staff, where she will be co-editor of the photography department. Olivia is on the cross country, track and weightlifting teams. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting and listening to Taylor Swift. Contact her at [email protected].    

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