THE FINAL CUT: HTC'S FOECKE ON THE VERGE OF MAKING UNDER-18 US VOLLEYBALL NATIONAL TEAM
When you are a six foot three, two-time all state middle hitter playing for one of the smallest schools in the state of Iowa; getting cut from your volleyball squad is beyond the realm of possibility.
But Holy Trinity's Mikaela Foecke's found herself in the very unusual position of sweating out a of roster "numbers game" this week amongst the most elite spikes company in the entire country.
Mikaela Foecke: "Feels good. But I just have to remember that I'm not there yet. There's still sixteen girls left and they are going to cut four more. So I want to be in that Top Twelve."
Holy Trinity's soon to be Junior Middle Hitter is just one final cut from making the US National Under 18 Volleyball squad and earning a trip to Thailand for the World Championships in Late July. And while that seems incredibly stuff from a kid playing small class Volleyball in Southeast Iowa, Mikaela Foecke heads to Anaheim in July with an "all business" approach...
Mikaela: "To be in the Top Sixteen in the nation, out of everybody, it's quite amazing and kind of unbelievable. But I just have to look at it like: I love competing with the girls and everyone is so great and you are always looking to learn new things."
Melissa Freesmeier: "She is having a great time. I know that the Coaches have to be enjoying her as much as we do and I know her teammates here are really pulling for her and they would all love to go with her..."
Mikaela on the Mindset of Playing at this level: "It's just to stick to the basics, know everything. I mean, it's really not that much different than high school. A little bit faster, but other than that All I have been working on is just hitting, blocking, serving, digging; a little bit of everything...
It's a little nerve racking but I just have to relax and play my game. Whatever happens, happens."
This is just the latest accolade in what has already been a banner summer for Mikaela, who verbally committed to the University of Nebraska to cap off her Sophomore Year.
Mikaela: "Oh...I am really excited. It takes a lot off my shoulders. I mean, it feels great to just have that decision made and know where I am going to get to spend the next four years of my life."
Melissa: "We don't have to worry about who is coming to the game (to recruit) Nebraska is a great program. We got there to camp every year and it's been one of my dreams to have a HTC kid play there, so Mikaela has made that happen."
Mikaela: "It just felt right. I mean the coaches are great. I love the girls. The campus is amazing. (The Opportunity) could not have been nicer"
All of which goes to underscore what a windfall it has been for a small parochial school to produce this kind of "once in a lifetime" player. And how Mikaela's unique experiences will benefit the Crusader program for the next two years running.
Melissa: "It is a great honor to be able to coach Mikaela. She is such a team player and does a great job with her teammates in everything she does. She's a great leader and a great all around kid."
Mikaela: "Just going to keep working hard and doing the extra things. The little things are always what counts. And just keep playing volleyball.."