Oblad Overcomes Elbow Injury for Final Season


By Mallory Arnold, Sports Writer


Middle blocker Berkeley Oblad is back and ready for her redshirt senior year after a frustrating 2018 season she missed out on due to an elbow injury.  

Oblad was born in Utah, but grew up in Henderson, Nevada where she attended Coronado High School. She helped guide her team to two Nevada State Championships in 2013 and 2014.

Daughter of Jeromy and Jody Oblad, she is the oldest of three kids in a very athletic family. Her younger brother Kenyon plays football at UNLV and her younger sister Gentry is following in her sister’s footsteps and finding her place on the volleyball court.

“My dad is the most blunt person I’ve ever met, he’s super motivating,” Oblad said. “He’s always told me to work so hard that your coaches have no choice but to leave you on the floor.”

After her 2015 freshman season, Oblad was named the first true freshman to record 90+ total blocks since 2010 (Erin Redd-Brandon, 101) when she put up 95 blocks. Her biggest influences in volleyball are her parents and her club coach. She played club volleyball for Vegas Encore and was coached by Ruben Herrera. 

“Ruben taught me the most on the club level and has been one of my biggest supporters,” Oblad said. “He comes to a lot of my games, too, which is awesome.”

In her 2016 sophomore season, she totaled 231 kills, 14 service aces, 21 assists, 61 digs and 112 total blocks. Her junior season in 2017 came next, and she was able to join an elite group when she totaled 300 kills in one season for the first time in her career. That is an average of 2.29 kills per set. 

While she succeeded on the offensive end, that same season she earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week twice. Oblad also totaled 22 service aces, 77 digs and 142 total blocks. After her record-breaking season ended, she thought things could only go up from there, but that wasn’t the case. During her 2018 senior season, Oblad was only able to play six games before injuring her elbow, ending her season.

“The hardest part about my injury was the two weeks leading up to our matches, I was feeling some pain and thinking I wasn’t going to be ready,” Oblad said. “I feel like everyone’s biggest fear after surgery is that you’re going to do it again.”

Coming back, she carried some advice from her father onto the court to help alleviate some of the fear.

“Something that I learned from it though was to just go and play forget being nervous. My dad told me that if I tear it again then, I tear it again, but don’t let this beat you,” she said. These words stuck with her and inspired Oblad to come up with her own personal motto: “Don’t let this beat you, whatever it is.”

Her redshirt season has begun and is off to a great start, with the Utes going 7-0 into the Pepperdine classic on Sept. 13. Oblad walked away with five blocks reaching the 400th career block milestone. She’s the 13th player in program history to do so. 

“I’m really proud of this team and how we are playing right now,” Oblad said. “We are holding up to our standards and I think that’s pretty awesome.” 

When the offseason comes around, you can find Berkeley reading or doing anything outside, but she really enjoys photography. Oblad is a graphic design major and said her favorite thing to photograph is her teammates. 

She prefers court volleyball to beach volleyball, although she plays for both teams at the U. 

“The plan after this season is to play volleyball professionally overseas,” Oblad said. “In five years, I’ll hopefully be somewhere in Europe making some extra money playing.” 

Oblad and the Utes will be back home on Wednesday, Sept. 25 against Colorado.


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