Time Out Session: Ezgi Ozkan Soars to New Heights



Ezgi Ozkan ranked 9th in Division I in assists.

Ezgi Ozkan, a first-year setter on the Seattle University Volleyball team, has soared to new heights during her short time on the squad. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Ozkan helped her club team reach the Turkish National Championships in 2017, She looks to help the Redhawks achieve the same success in Seattle.

Ozkan ranked ninth in Division I assists—401—on Sept. 18. Despite missing a series of games due to an injury, she still occupies the 121st position on the NCAA leaderboard for assists per set. With a dozen games left in the regular season, Ozkan has a chance to reclimb the rankings.

BW: How are you doing regarding volleyball? Do you like your teammates?

EO: I was doing good until I recently suffered a minor injury.
I really like my teammates. They have helped me a lot, especially
the other international players like Tijana Milojevic and Julia Queiroz, who understand what I am going through.

BW: How about your coaches?

EO: I like the coaches a lot. Before I came, I facetimed with James Finley—the head coach—and his positivity and energy is one of the reasons why I came to Seattle. Back home, my coaches were not as positive—they were more serious. Also, our assistant coaches Giedre Tarnauskaite and Cheri Lindsay are nice. I like them a lot.

BW: Do you enjoy being the setter? Also, does having two other setters on the team inspire you to the best you can be?

EO: I love being the setter. Regarding the other setters,we have a good relationship. We help each other out by telling each other things we can do to improve.

BW: Is there one area of your game that you want to get better at while at Seattle U?

EO: I want to get better at reading the game as I am a setter, so I want to make the right decisions but sometimes it’s not that easy to make the right decisions at the right time.

BW: Right now, you are 121st in Division 1 volleyball in assists. How do you rate your play on the court?

EO: I was feeling really good on the court. We have a really good team and the energy is good…That good feeling directly impacts my play.

BW: Do you have any goals for yourself and/or the team for the rest of the year?

EO: I just want to win all of our games and be successful. I’m excited to be able to play again starting next week.

BW: What was your most memorable moment on the team so far?

EO: One of our games against Montana State. It was such a good game and it was so crowded.
We played so well and won in five sets. I felt good after winning that game.

BW: Have you ever thought about playing for the Turkish national volleyball team?

EO: I’ve been to camps only. I would love to be on the team, but Turkey is really good at volleyball.

BW: How are you liking Seattle? Has it been a transition coming from Turkey all the way to the United States for college?

EO: I am really liking Seattle. It’s really pretty and reminds me of my home, Istanbul, which is a big city like Seattle. At first, I was a little homesick, but now I am doing good. I just wanted to be here…This is my first time in America.

BW: Do you have any advice for people who want to follow your path?

EO: I talk to friends back home who also want to play volleyball in the U.S… I tell them to work hard, especially in classes.

The editor may be reached at [email protected]