For The Tribune

Kayla Stuckwisch transferred from Seymour to Trinity Lutheran High School at the beginning of her junior year, and she’s happy she made that decision.

“I’m so glad I came to Trinity,” she said. “I’ve definitely grown academically and spiritually. It’s been a challenge academically, but I’ve really had to step up my gear, and I feel like Trinity has prepared me more for college. I’ve made friends here and all the teachers really care, so it’s really nice. I do like the smaller school.

The Cougars senior started in the front row on the volleyball team.

“I’ve always liked volleyball,” Stuckwisch said. “I’ve played volleyball ever since I was 8 years old. I’ve played on club teams and I played in middle school.”

She played volleyball as a freshman, then ran cross-country her sophomore year at Seymour.

“Then I came out here (to Trinity), and I decided to try out for volleyball because I missed volleyball my sophomore year,” Stuckwisch said.

Stuckwisch has played volleyball for the Cougars for the past two years and said she has enjoyed playing in the front row this season.

“I’m a right-side hitter — right side is my favorite,” Stuckwisch said. “It gives you certain dynamics that you have to hit whether it’s cross or line.

“The setter will set it, and normally my back-row people will tell me if there is one or two blockers.”

Stuckwisch said if she doesn’t hear a code word, she listens for one of them to tell her where to hit.

“One of (my teammates) will either say ‘cross’ or ‘line,’ or ‘one block’ or ‘two block,’ It’s just a whole bunch of stuff,” she said. “Communication is definitely the key when it comes to volleyball. There are three plays we can do.”

This season, Stuckwisch said she thinks her team has connected on the court.

“The teamwork has gone really well,” Stuckwisch said. “I can always count on the back row to get the ball. I can always depend on Taylor (Reynolds) and Haley Carter to get the ball up in the air.

“Our setters are really good at getting the ball up high if it’s a bad pass just so we can keep it in play. One of the things we’ve mainly focused on in practice is keeping the third ball in play if it’s not a good pass.”

Stuckwisch said another key is momentum, especially when the Cougars run off a string of points.

“You really get pumped, the momentum is definitely an important key in volleyball,” Stuckwisch said. “Whether or not you lose the point or get the point, you always want to focus on keeping the excitement and keeping everyone up.

“If someone hits the ball in the net, you want to make sure tell them, ‘you’ve got it next time.’ You always want to be positive. Once everybody is positive and they come together you have a team. I really like momentum. It’s awesome. When the team has it everyone is so fired up.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Kayla Stuckwisch

Parents: Monica and Kyle Stuckwisch

Sibling: Allison

Sports: Volleyball, three years; cross-country, one year

Organizations: National Honor Society, Student ambassador, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Plans after high school: Attend University of Indianapolis, major in neonatal nurse practitioner

Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese

Favorite TV show: “Big Brother”

Favorite singer: Taylor Swift

Favorite movie: “Bridesmaids”

Favorite athlete: Destinee Hooker

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Q: Do you like the volleyballs schedule?

A: “Playing Loogootee, Christian Academy, Hauser, and Henryville: those teams are really good. Playing good teams only betters us. Playing teams aren’t as good is fun, but when it comes to the sectional and regional you want to be able to focus on winning.”

Q: Do you enjoy playing on the road?

A: “I like the sunken gyms. Whenever the teams get together and shake hands, and come to the middle and we do our little cheer, in sunken gyms, when you hit your feet it echoes, and I really like that. You have a lot of room around the court, and you don’t have to worry about if you’re going to run into somebody.”

Q: What will you miss about volleyball?

A: “I think I’m going to look back most on with the volleyball season is the bus rides whenever we would take the short bus. We would always have a speaker and we would sing at the top of our lungs.