LAFAYETTE — It’s not every day that an Acadiana area athlete gets accepted to an Ivy League school.

It’s also not every day an Acadiana area volleyball player gets to play at the collegiate level. Teurlings Catholic’s Kynnedie Maloz is doing both after her commitment to the University of Pennsylvania Tuesday.

“I’m extremely blessed to be able to play at the next level because not everyone gets to do that — especially in this area,” Maloz said. “For me to be able to go to Penn and play as well as get my nursing degree is very exciting.”

Teurlings volleyball coach Terry Hebert said Maloz’s intentions were never to play volleyball in college. When she went for a visit the to the university and attended a volleyball camp, they offered her a spot on the team.

“Kynnedie went online and searched for pediatric nursing,” Hebert said. “She got a hit for Penn. That’s how she is. It could have been a non-Ivy league school, but that is where she wants to go. She gets it, and she has always gotten it.”

Maloz was the leader of the Teurlings defense that won a state championship last season. She led the team with 643 digs, but athletics was always secondary to academics, Maloz said.

Hebert said filling the hole Maloz leaves on the court isn’t going to be easy. He credited her work ethic and said if a position doesn’t exist for her on the Penn team, she’ll make one.

“Her work ethic academically and on the volleyball court speaks volumes where her priorities are,” Hebert said.

“Right now, (Penn) might be OK for a couple years, but Kynnedie doesn’t like to play second fiddle. She will quicky get in there, learn the system and get on the court quickly.”

She’s not getting a scholarship from Penn — Ivy League schools don’t offer them. Maloz didn’t get offers from other schools, but only because she she didn’t get into the whole “recruiting thing.”

“I wasn’t planning on playing sports in college because I was so focused on my academics,” Maloz said. “It happened out of nowhere.

“It is validating for me as a player since this area isn’t really volleyball focused. It’s amazing.”