The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

One-on-one with Iowa volleyball’s Kaia Mateo

Sports Reporter Chris Meglio chatted with the setter about art, fashion, and her favorite things to do in New York City.
Isabella Tisdale
Kaia Mateo sets the ball at a volleyball game between Iowa and Middle Tennessee State on Sep. 1, 2023. The Hawkeyes beat the Blue Raiders, 3-0.

Chris Meglio: What do you like to do for fun?

Kaia Mateo: Well, volleyball I love, obviously, but I also love art. And I like creating art. I play the piano, too. Those things ground me and keep me calm. I also love hanging out with my friends, my family. I’m really close with them.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh, I mean, my mom’s like the best cook ever. So like, anything she makes I would eat. But also I’m half Filipino. So my grandma’s Filipino food — I would have that for the rest of my life too. 

What’s your favorite song at the moment?

I love the song “Work” by Charlotte Day Wilson.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? And what do you need to get ready?

If it’s for a volleyball game, then I just have to straighten my hair and slick my hair back to my edges. Do a little makeup. Doesn’t take me too long. If it’s for a regular day,  it depends on if I’m back home in New York City or if I’m here. Because if I’m here, I’m just throwing on a hoodie and my Iowa volleyball stuff and going to class or practice. If I’m in the city, I’m getting ready ready.

Would you rather dress to impress or dress for comfort?

I do a mix. So in New York City I definitely did dress to impress because that’s just kind of the culture is a lot of fashion. But here I realized way more comfort, so I try to find some fashion within my comfort. But yeah, I would say it’s a mix now.

What’s your favorite beverage?

I really like orange juice.

What would be the first thing you did if you won the lottery?

I would just give a lot of the money away. I wouldn’t really know what to do with it.

Do you have a piece of advice or motto that you live by?

Yeah, I have a few mottos. So I grew up with mottos like “attack the day” and “get life” but also one of my mottos is that hydration is key to a successful life. Drink that water.

 What’s your favorite social media app if you have one?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I would say Instagram because I like keeping up with people and seeing what they’re doing, especially now that I’m at college.

What’s your favorite place to eat in New York?

There’s just so many places to eat in the city. I love Mixed Masala. It’s like a small little
Indian place, and I go there with my best friends every time I go back home. But there’s just so many options, I can’t even choose. 

 Who’s your favorite musician from New York?

A Boogie 

What are your favorite things to do in the city?

I just love walking around, honestly. I don’t know how to drive and you don’t really drive in the city. That’s something I have to learn now that I’m in Iowa. When you just walk around the city there’s so much culture and art. It’s just fun to roam the streets in a good outfit and find cool things.

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About the Contributors
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.