WICHITA, Kan.—Before joining the team in the sixth grade, Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Kate Madsen had little experience playing volleyball. Despite this, she soon fell in love with the sport.
“I started [playing volleyball] the summer before sixth grade,” Madsen said. “I came from a really small middle school and the same girls would play all the sports, so I tried it and I loved it.”
“It takes so much athleticism. Volleyball is a well-rounded sport,” Madsen said. “You have to be able to jump high, hit hard, be quick and you have to be able to anticipate your opponent.”
All teammates must have these individual strengths, but Madsen also believes that they have to come together as a team to be successful.
“You must just be a smart player,” Madsen said. “Just put the ball where there isn’t anyone, and trust your teammates. They know their jobs and if you let them they will do what needs to be done.”
Out of all the qualities necessary to be a successful volleyball player, Madsen believes one of the most important is jumping high above the net to make blocks. Being shorter than most other teammates could have given her a disadvantage, but Madsen worked hard to make it one of her biggest strengths.
“I’m the shortest person that was on our team this year,” Madsen said. “To make up for that, I had to jump high to get my hands over the net. Being tall is one thing but it also helps to jump high. I do varsity track [in the off-season] and participate in long and triple jump, which helps me jump higher.”
Madsen came into her final season with high expectations for her team. She set goals for herself and her teammates and worked hard throughout the season in order to achieve them.
“I think that the team chemistry this year was amazing,” Madsen said. “Everyone wanted the same goals, so we all worked super hard.”
Some of these goals included a city league title and making it to the second day of state competition. Madsen’s team accomplished both of these. They finished 4th at state and won the city league title for the second year in a row. Madsen was happy overall with how they finished the season.
“We had a good team last year but this season we were so much better and we all had so much experience,” Madsen said. “I wish we wouldn’t have lost to Bishop Carroll and Bishop Meige, but I’m pretty happy.”
Even though her senior season of volleyball has ended, Madsen doesn’t plan to give up the sport any time soon. She recently committed to play for Cowley County Community College next fall.
“I've always wanted to [play college volleyball], since I first learned how to pass,” Madsen said. “I love volleyball, so thinking about not playing in college has never been a possibility.”