June 29, 2018
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Recent graduate Sydney Kuhn has signed a professional contract with the Evreux Panthers in Evreux, France to continue her athletic career.
Kuhn played in 30 matches for the Irish during her senior season, earning 26 starts. The Wichita, Kansas, native became the 16th player in program history to reach the 1,000-dig mark for a career and finished her time at Notre Dame with 1,040 digs. The outside hitter also played a role in the attack, finishing her collegiate career with 950 kills.
We recently caught up with Kuhn to get the details on the beginning of her professional career overseas.
Q: How are you feeling about signing your first professional contract and your upcoming move to France?
Kuhn: “I’m super excited. It’s always been a dream but I never thought I’d actually get to say I was a professional athlete so that seems pretty cool and I’m just excited to be able to continue to play.”
Q: What did the process entail that led to you joining Evreux?
Kuhn: “I reached out to an agency I had actually heard from through a Notre Dame alum. I had a friend who went through them as well, so I knew they were respectable. Then he explained the process to me and gave me a few days to say yes or no. I signed with the agency, sent them all my information, all my film and anything that they needed. He marketed me and when someone was interested, he let me know and here we are!”
Q: How did you decide on signing with a team in France?
Kuhn: “This was the first offer I had. When you get an offer, you have three or four days to say yes or no. We talked about other offers in the making. There were some people interested but this seemed like the best bang for your buck. As a rookie it’s a pretty good contract, it’s a great location and there are some girls that speak English.”
Q: How excited are you to get to experience another culture?
Kuhn:I’m super excited. I had two opportunities here at Notre Dame to go to South Africa and Morocco, which were both incredible. It was amazing and really opened my eyes to how different everything is and getting to be in France for almost a whole year, I think I’ll really get to become part of the culture and understand it.”
Q: How long does the season last?
Kuhn: “It’s a long season. I get there in August and we start play at the end of September. If we’re doing well, hopefully we’ll play until the end of May.”
“Q: How did Notre Dame help prepare you for this experience both on and off the court?
Kuhn: “Off the court, studying abroad really opened my eyes to just how big the world is and how much there is to see. It also helped me not be afraid of this option. I’m going into this pretty blind. I don’t know much and that’s okay. That’s part of the adventure.
“Obviously on the court, having Jim [McLaughlin] and Mike [Johnson], and my team these past four years pushing me and helping me get better has just been incredible. I’m here on campus this summer, working out with the team and getting back into shape.”
Q: What are you most looking forward to in this experience?
Kuhn: Living over there, I think because it’s such a great location, it gives people a good excuse to come visit as well as see a different culture. My mom doesn’t even have her passport yet so she’s got to get that and then she can come visit! I’m really excited to hopefully learn French too, or at least somewhat. I’m trying a little bit here but it’s not going so well. I think once I get thrown into it, with everyone speaking it, I’ll have no other choice but to learn.”
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Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.