MW VOLLEYBALL: Wolthuizen signs with Minnesota West
EDGERTON -- Kelsey Wolthuizen likes pressure situations. Recently signing with the Minnesota West volleyball team, the Edgerton senior will have the opportunity to be in many throughout her career. "I like to be the one to go to in that pressure ...
EDGERTON -- Kelsey Wolthuizen likes pressure situations.
Recently signing with the Minnesota West volleyball team, the Edgerton senior will have the opportunity to be in many throughout her career.
"I like to be the one to go to in that pressure situation," Wolthuizen said. "I know I can do it, I know I can come through for the team."
It's the competitiveness and desire that drew Lady Jay head coach Janet Haren to the middle hitter.
"Just her passion for the game, you can tell she loves playing the game," Haren said. "She's going to work hard, she works hard for Edgerton Public. Her coach couldn't say enough good things about her. Academically, she's a pretty strong student as well. Just all around, a good package, a good kid, a good person and great family. She's going to bring athleticism, quickness and power to our offense."
Wolthuizen is a three-sport athlete at Edgerton, but in the end, volleyball was her sport of choice.
"At first, I was a bigger basketball fan," she said. "Then I saw that I excelled more at volleyball and I kind of loved it more. It was more fun for me and I really liked the atmosphere of it and the pressure situations. I really was drawn to that."
During her senior year, Wolthuizen excelled for the Flying Dutchmen.
An All-Red Rock Conference performer, Wolthuizen had 172 kills and 56 ace blocks.
In her three years as a starter, she amassed 479 kills and had 70 ace serves, making her a threat from anywhere on the court.
"She can serve for us, she can play defense for us and she's going to serve-receive for us," Haren said. "She may not have had that opportunity all the time in high school, but here I think she's going to be a strong all-around player for us. I know she likes to run a little bit quicker things, and that's going to fit in with our philosophy and hopefully we can give her an open net to swing at."
The 5-foot-11 Wolthuizen first started as a sophomore, and since then, she's been waiting for the opportunity to move on to the next level.
"I am really excited," she said. "Kind of my sophomore year I thought about that this is my sport, this is what I love, so maybe I could go to the next level. I never really thought the opportunity would come. So, this is really good."
In her three years of starting, Wolthuizen said she has gained valuable experience.
"I've improved a lot at the net," she said. "I went to a lot of college camps to help improve my game. Playing all those years and having all that experience has really helped me get smarter and become a better player."
Haren started showing interest in Wolthuizen two years ago.
"Sometimes that's non-traditional for us," Haren said. "But I think Kelsey is worth every bit of it and probably even more so. When you find somebody like her, not just volleyball-wise, but the person she is and the student she is, you can't let them slip through."
Wolthuizen plans on taking part in surgical technology program at Minnesota West, which was a reason she was drawn to the Lady Jays.
"I like the college," Wolthuizen said. "My sister used to go there for a little while. I like the opportunity to play volleyball and they have a program I'm very interested in and it's close to home."
Signing on Friday, Wolthuizen also chose a special day.
It was her mom's birthday.
"It was really special," Wolthuizen said. "They gave me the option of doing it (Friday) or next and I'm like, 'I know this is really important to my mom, so maybe I can give her another birthday present by doing it (Friday).'"
But the day was just as special for Haren, who has an early cornerstone for her 2010 team. Already, the coach has been scheming for ways to utilize Wolthuizen.
"I think she's definitely more comfortable in the middle because that's where she's been," Haren said. "Depending on who else decides to play for us might play a factor. She can run a lot of things in the middle. There's already a lot of plays running through my head of different things we can do to utilize her the best. If we did have other blocker out there and we can give her more balls to put away on the outside, by all means, we're going to put her in a spot where we can get the most out of her."
But with a quicker game, Wolthuizen is excited for the new challenge.
"I'm excited for that tougher competition and the quicker speed that it goes at," Wolthuizen said. "All of our players on volleyball also play another sport. So now it'll be different to play with people that play the one sport. That's what they love, too, as well as I do."