Alexia Byrnes Player Profile

When she’s off the court, junior Alexia Byrnes of the YSU women’s volleyball team studies psychology. In the first game of the season against IUPUI, she walked away with nine kills and 21 assists. Photo courtesy of YSU Sports

By Jordan Boitnott

Alexia Byrnes, a redshirt junior majoring in psychology with a minor in gender communications, is a setter for the women’s volleyball team. Byrnes not only thrives on the court, but in the classroom.

Byrnes said she is very organized and that helps her to stay on top of her classes.

“I do my best to stay organized; I’m kind of like an organizational freak. I like to color code things, I have a date book, like a bunch of that stuff,” she said. “It helps me stay on top of things in a sense that I do need to get my life together here soon. So that’s one way I start, I guess.”

Byrnes is setting her personal goals and the team goals high this season, hoping to surprise everyone in the Horizon League and change the trajectory of YSU volleyball.

“Make Youngstown one of the top competitors in the Horizon League. We have been voted last season after season since I’ve been here unfortunately but this year, we have a great group of girls that came in, number one,” she said. “Number two, we have a lot of returning players who understand the systems, who understand the plays that we run. So I think we have benefit of the doubt here and we could come out top dog after being under appreciated.” 

Byrnes said her personal goals are to become a better teammate and a better leader.

“I do feel it’s my responsibility to make sure that everybody’s taken care of and knows what’s going on. So I do feel it’s my duty as an upperclassman to take care of the younger ones,” she said.

Byrnes said she has been working on her own to try and improve her mental and physical health.

“I’ve been doing little things here and there, like pushups before bed, abs before bed or do squats, you know, things like that. Either before I get in the shower or right before I go to bed, just to get my mind right for the next day or, you know, to take care of myself. That way, I’ll be able to take care of others.”

Byrnes said COVID-19 was kind of good for the team because it allowed them to properly prepare themselves for the season.

“You know, it was kind of a blessing in disguise. At first, only because we were able to take the time to train and lift and get our bodies right. Then, of course, a few of us caught it already, and it was spreading through campus like rapid fire,” she said. “But it did give us a lot of time to prepare and work on very specific things, mechanical things that we need to fix before the upcoming season.”

Byrnes was able to lead the women to a four-set sweep over IUPUI Monday with nine kills, 21 assists and a .269 percentage.