TCU women's volleyball coach Prentice Lewis had just announced some good news. After a string of two-a-day practices, she called for a day off.
“Praise the Lord!” yelled a player as she jumped up, prompting laughter from her teammates.
It was not an unusual outburst from this teammate. She’s the one who dances in the locker room, makes her fellow volleyball players laugh and continually asks Lewis to let her sing the national anthem at the beginning of a match. She’s the one that senior setter Megan Munce calls goofy.
She’s Yvonne Igodan.
The life of the party
That’s how Lewis describes Igodan, the junior middle blocker who proudly displays No. 28 on her jerseys.
Lewis recounts stories of Igodan’s charming gullibility, which keeps the staff and players smiling throughout practice.
“I can yell at her, just jokingly, and she’ll slink over thinking she’s really in trouble,” Lewis said. “She always falls for it.”
For Igodan, Lewis’s coaching style makes her feel right at home.
“As soon as I visited TCU, I knew this where I wanted to be,” Igodan said. “The coaching staff felt like my family.”
Now in her third year playing for the Frogs, the team has become her family, too. Her teammates smile and shake their heads knowingly when her name comes up, more than happy to talk about their resident class clown.
Munce said Igodan stands out with her “outrageous personality,” but called her athleticism equally “striking.”
Igodan started playing volleyball just seven years ago. A coach encouraged her to join the team her freshman year of high school, and she hasn’t stopped playing since.
“I have a burning love for the sport,” Igodan said. “I couldn’t have just graduated high school and stopped playing.”
Her stats are stunning. In a game against Texas Tech, Igodan totaled 17 kills for an average of over five kills per set. Against Kansas State, Igodan left the court with zero errors on 18 attacks.
That caught the league’s attention, and the Big 12 named her Offensive Player of the Week— for the second time this season.
At 6 feet 2 inches, Igodan isn’t exactly short. But by volleyball standards, she isn’t tall, either.
“In the Big 12, TCU is on the short side,” said Munce. “Yvonne plays exceptionally well for her height. Any athlete who can be short and still successful is just awesome to watch.”
When Igodan’s not singing for her teammates or slamming volleyballs over the net, she’s hard at work in class.
During a visit to campus back when she was debating college options, Igodan sat in on Professor Broom’s introductory psychology class and fell in love. The experience led her to choose psychology as a major, and she enrolled in Broom’s class during her first semester.
And though she’s aware of her class clown side, Igodan said she also has personality traits that would make her an ideal psychologist someday.
“People always tells me I give such good advice,” Igodan said. “My mom always tells me I’m a good listener. I tried to pick a major that highlighted my strengths.”
After graduation, Igodan hopes to obtain a master’s in social work and counsel families. She’s keeping her options open, though.
“I’ll go wherever life takes me,” Igodan said. “I might try to pursue a volleyball career overseas or do something with track. I have so many dreams right now.”
And maybe, just maybe, she’ll achieve that dream of singing the national anthem at a game. Lewis hasn’t told her no just yet.