How This Libero Sets Up His Team

Meet senior Nicklaus Yao from the boys’ volleyball team!

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By Nicklaus Yao

Nicklaus Yao

Grade: 12

Height: 5’9”

Hair Color: Black

Eye Color: Dark Brown

Date of Birth: April 22, 2003

1. How long have you been on the Stuyvesant team?

Three years.

2. Do you play volleyball outside of school?

Yes, I do. I’ve played for the NYC Impact Volleyball Club.

3. What is your strategy for constantly improving yourself?

Going back to the fundamentals and breaking each movement down, but most importantly, enjoying myself and having fun during practices. If you’re going to improve, might as well have fun doing it.

4. What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced while playing volleyball?

One of the biggest obstacles would be rehabbing after tearing my PCL. Rehabbing meant spending a lot of time off the court while watching my teammates play. The physical elements of re-strengthening my knee involved strengthening each individual section of the knee. It was a time-consuming but effective process—making progress from walking to finally jumping was very fulfilling. However, the mental element was much harder to deal with. Now, there’s always the small fear in the back of my mind that I might have to go through the entire process once again.

5. What position do you play, and what skills and strengths are involved?

Libero and Outside! Libero is the defensive specialist (someone who never gets to spike), but is the cornerstone to every team's defensive scheme. Outside is one of the most versatile positions—someone who needs to do everything: blocking, passing, spiking, and setting the ball.

6. Funniest teammate?

Nikkie Lin—a weird combination of happiness, clumsiness, and size. He is not afraid to show you affection and certainly has jokes.

Drink of choice: Canada Dry

Favorite food: Buffalo chicken pizza

Motto to live by: “Work hard, play hard.”

Fun fact: I used to dance in elementary school.