Get to Know Your New Gophers: Kalei Mau

Go Gophers!
Kalei Mau performing at the Golden Goldys

Go Gophers!
Kalei Mau performing at the Golden Goldys
Go Gophers!

June 20, 2013

Kalei Mau hails from Kahaluu, Hawaii and graduated high school early to come to the University of Minnesota in time for 2013 spring volleyball. Playing on the same club team as former Gopher great Lindsey Berg, Mau competed with the Asics Rainbows. With a semester under her belt, the rookie has already experienced some new things on the U of M campus. Not only is Mau talented on the court, she also sings and plays the ukulele. Find out more about Mau and her decision to come to Minnesota.

Mau's background:
CLUB: Played with the Asics Rainbows Volleyball Club, the same club team as former Gopher great Lindsey Berg • competed in multiple tournaments, including a second-place showing at the 2012 Las Vegas Classic, and a 22nd place of 140 finish at the 2012 AAU Tournament in Orlando • SCVA Anaheim qualifier with Rainbows in 2011.

HIGH SCHOOL: Standout with St. Francis High School prior to her club volleyball experience • helped lead her team to a state championship in 2011 • a part of the all-state tournament team, had 10 kills, five digs and hit .292 in the championship match • named a first-team ILH Division II in 2011, honorable mention in 2010 and athlete of the year in 2009.

PERSONAL: 2012 graduate of Henry Kaiser High School • daughter of Lynette Mau and Steven Mau • undecided on a major.

Gophersports.com: Why did you choose to come to Minnesota?
Kalei Mau: I chose Minnesota because I fell in love with the state, the people, my team, and coaches. Its always been my goal to play at a top university and there is no better place for me than Minnesota.

GS: You graduated early and was a part of spring volleyball. What led to your decision and coming last winter?
KM: As a transfer student during the first semester of my senior year, I could not play inter scholastic volleyball so I took the time to focus on my academics. I had enough credits to graduate in a few months. I really wanted to go through with this so I didn't everything I was told to get this process going. My grandpa thought it would be an advantage for me to go to college a semester early so I could get used to the weather and everything else. It was the best decision I've ever made.

GS: You got that first semester of collegiate volleyball under your belt. How did that help you on and off the court?
KM: Now that I have had the full "college experience" I have become more mature as a volleyball player and a student. I had an advantage to get ahead and I am excited to share with my incoming classmates to help them make the positive changes that I have made.

GS: Being from Hawaii, you probably got to experience your first-ever winter. What was that like?
KM: I absolutely loved it! I never got tired of the snow or the freezing cold. My teammates thought I was crazy for being so happy in the long winter. Since Hawaii is always so sunny I was in need for a good change.

GS: What have you been doing so far this summer?
KM: I have been at the beach every day since I've been home. Playing beach volleyball, surfing, diving, fishing, everything and anything that has to do with water.

GS: How do you think the University of Minnesota will help you grow as a player?
KM: I have only been in Minnesota for six months and I have already made great changes. My coaches and teammates make me love the game more and more every day. The encouragement and motivation to work hard is there and it makes me want to be the best I can ever be.

GS: You've got quite the voice! Some saw you perform at the Golden Goldys, but tell us how you got involved in singing?
KM: Music is a big part of our culture in the islands. Almost everyone in my family sings from the oldest to the youngest child. We sing at gatherings and parties for everyone to enjoy.