This week we had the honor of speaking with the winner of this year’s CAA All-State volleyball award, Kylie Bartel, to talk about her journey with sports and her last volleyball season with the CAA. Kylie just shared some exciting news with us, she has committed to play volleyball at Benedictine in the Fall. Kylie is a senior at Heritage Academy Mesa and is an outside hitter for her volleyball team. “It’s definitely nerve racking but also very exciting to take this next step in my life”, she says about graduating this spring.
Making the best of her volleyball season
It was an amazing season for my senior year. COVID definitely proved to be a setback, but overall, this has been my favorite season of school volleyball. We had amazing coaches and the team dynamic this year was incredible. Everyone was friends with everyone, and we all pushed each other to be the best we could be. We even went as far as to the state championship this year! Although it was a heartbreaking loss, we fought hard and learned and grew from that experience.
What it was like to play during COVID
It was definitely different from a normal season, but overall, I don’t think it had much of a negative effect. We were still able to practice and play and have so many great experiences as a team.
Thank You to my coaches
Kylie is incredibly grateful to her coaching staff. “They’ve all taught me so many things that have helped me grow as an individual and as a teammate. Coach Lo always told us to be kind no matter what. She would always say to be ‘Switzerland’, meaning rise above the drama and be a peacemaker. Coach Freeman taught me how to be a ‘jungle tiger’, which is to be someone who isn’t afraid of taking risks or making mistakes.”
Advice to future volleyball players
I think the biggest thing to remember is that it is ok to be scared, but to not let being scared hold you back from doing anything. If you’re scared that you’re going to make a mistake, take on that fear and turn it into determination. Everyone is going to make errors or mess up, there’s no avoiding it. Just learn to accept your mistake and grow from it.
For Kylie, playing for the CAA means to not only play to win, but play to be better. Be a better athlete, a better teammate, student, individual, etc. Always striving to achieve more than what you already have.
Kylie recently committed to Benedictine University and is really excited to play for their volleyball team because their coaches are wonderful and have a very family oriented team. “It seems like such a good community and I think I’m going to be a great fit”, she said.
Regarding her academic plans, there are a lot of things she is interested in so she is still not sure what to major in. She is curious about psychology, sociology, nutrition and allied health.
Thank you for speaking with us Kylie, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.