Freshman Steele off to a hot start on varsity

Abby Christensen, news writer

Kara Steele, freshman, began playing St. Peter’s volleyball in third grade, then switched to club volleyball when she was 12. Now, after tying for 3rd at the Girls’ Junior National Championships with her club team this past year, Steele is the only freshman on the girls’ varsity volleyball team.

Steele’s club team last year went undefeated for most of the season, winning three open national qualifiers, which she said is rare. Her team didn’t lose until the first game at nationals, and then in the semi-finals at nationals, coming in 3rd out of 1,000 club teams in their age division.

“This year was mostly the same team as the year before, but we were just more successful this year I think because we’ve been playing together longer,” Steele said. “We had a lot of girls who were really competitive and worked hard. We just performed really well.”

Steele plays middle blocker for both club and high school varsity volleyball. She said this means she has to block every ball, transition a lot and be ready to hit quick balls.

“I always think it’d be fun to be an outside just because they get a lot more sets and opportunities to hit the ball, but I like being a middle,” Steele said.

Because of her experience with club volleyball, Steele said her transition to high school volleyball has been easier because she’s used to a higher level of competition. She also says that her sister playing on the team before her allowed her to know many girls on the team before tried out.

Girl’s Varsity Volleyball coach, Julie Goodmann, agrees that Steele’s transition has gone well.

“When I first saw her play, obviously she doesn’t look like a freshman. Her skills are way further advanced from most freshmen coming in,” Goodmann said. “You can tell that she’s played at a higher level.”

Goodmann said that Steele’s main strengths include her ability to see the floor, her quickness and her pure athleticism. So far, having over 85 kills in the first 14 matches, Steele is second on the team for kills. She also leads in blocks for the team.

Goodmann said they have a lot of talent on the team this year, and Steele’s desire to win adds to the competitive atmosphere of the team. She said it helps that Steele already has that mindset and it’s not something they have to teach to her.

“As far as Kara is on the court, she’s a competitor,” Goodmann said. “She likes to compete, and I think that helps no matter what age she is.”

For more statistics on Kara Steele, visit here