High character for Jason Mallek

Before his senior year in high school, Jason Mallek had never played competitive volleyball.

"I played a little volleyball in middle school, and a little recreationally my sophomore and junior years but not much," said Mallek.

A surprise opportunity in his senior year led Mallek down the road of organized volleyball.

"I started playing volleyball the second half of my senior season in order to play in the Junior Olympics," said Mallek. "Once I started playing, I fell in love with it."

Finishing up his sophomore season at Santa Monica College, Mallek emerged as the team leader on the court, offensively and defensively.

A middle blocker, Mallek was voted to the All-League second team in his senior year at Bishop Montgomery High School, and also earned the Distinguished Athlete Award for volleyball.

Mallek credited his father for steering him down the volleyball path.

“My dad always pushed me, he actually played in college too for West LA [College], said Mallek. "He said I should have listened to him from the start. He’s been trying to get me to play from a young age, but I was always more into basketball and soccer."

This past season, the Corsairs finished 4-13 and did not make the playoffs. Injuries and unforeseen roster changes played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Corsairs' season.

“When it comes down to the wire, I know the ball is coming to me so I try to mentally prepare for that,” said Mallek.

Mallek said he hopes that his play and leadership abilities will eventually lead to an opportunity at the next level.

“I’m definitely coachable; I’ve always done everything the coaches have asked of me," said Mallek. "I’m also hardworking. Even in a tough season me and the guys just kept pushing each other. That’s just the competitive side in us."

He said he hopes that a Division I scholarship is in his future.

"I’ll be ready to transfer; I’ll be ready to go," said Mallek. "I’ve had some coaches I’ve been emailing back and forth with, some Division I and some Division III. Ideally, I’d like to play for any Division I west coast program."

In the meantime, Mallek said he plans to keep himself active and in shape.

“I love playing any sport in my spare time soccer, basketball, just being active," said Mallek.