There is no doubt what Kennedy Hoffman’s favorite sport is.
“I love volleyball,” she said. “I love the competitiveness of volleyball, but yet the teamwork that it takes to complete the game. On and off the court, you have your best friends with you 24/7, and that is just something I’ve loved, and to compete and to be successful with your best friends and have this kind of support system makes it so much fun.”
Hoffman played four years of varsity at Trinity Lutheran High School, where she was a versatile player. She played right side hitter her freshman year, but most of her career, she has been an outside hitter. The Cougars won four sectional titles during Hoffman’s high school years.
Hoffman has had a goal in recent years of wanting to play volleyball at the next level. She recently moved a step closer to realizing that goal when she signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Otterbein University, located near Columbus, Ohio.
“I picked Otterbein because it reminded me so much of Trinity in the aspect of the coaching staff who really love their job, like coaches (Monica) Wright, (Josie) Andres and (Nikki) Van Cleave, and the positive atmosphere they have going for them,” she said. “They just really love the game.”
Otterbein played a spring schedule and went 18-3 and won the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament.
“They are a really young team,” Hoffman said. “They only had one senior that played a lot. I’m super excited to be a part of such a positive program. They are very focused on having their girls excel on and off the court, and that is the kind of program I wanted. It was just the perfect fit.”
Hoffman, who plans to major in nursing, received a trophy case full of honors these past two seasons.
Last fall, Hoffman was named an Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association senior all-star and was named to the Class A south all-district and all-state teams and Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association all-state first team.
During her junior season, she helped the Cougars advance to the state championship match in Class A. She also was named to the Indiana south junior all-stars, all-district and all-county teams and the IHSVCA and ICGSCA all-state teams.
“I think the most important part about Trinity volleyball to me was the family atmosphere of it. These girls are my best friends,” she said.
“Having a coaching staff like Faith (Wilder-Newland), Lindsey (Schepman) and Greg (Greathouse) are just amazing because their love for volleyball really showed, and it drives my aspect to want to get better and my love of the game even further, and it drove my love of the game so far that I wanted to play college volleyball,” she said.
Hoffman just wrapped up her club volleyball season by helping her Cougar Club team win a tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, in late April. She said she wanted to express her gratitude to her Trinity coaches, plus Dave Newland, Janet VanLiew and Mindy Roeder for their help along the way.
Hoffman said playing club ball helped her in high school.
“Club is where you hone the skills you have and take into your school season,” she said. “I got the best of both worlds in that because Dave and Faith both made me a better player.”
Greathouse, the varsity assistant volleyball coach the past three years at Trinity, said he feels Otterbein is a good choice for Hoffman.
“There were a lot of places that she was looking at, and I know she took a lot of thought and made a very conscious decision on what she felt was best for her, both from a sports perspective and from an academic perspective,” he said. “She does pretty well on both sides (blocking and attacking). I would say if she has a strength on one side versus the other, it’s definitely on the offensive side.”
He said Hoffman has improved over the past three years, especially with her offensive attacking and how aggressive she was swinging with her control.
“She made really good strides from a physical perspective as far as jumping and strength-wise. I could tell a big difference between her sophomore and junior year, also between her junior and senior year,” Greathouse said. “I think she’ll be a solid contributor wherever she goes. I expect good things from her.”