August 11, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
K-State volleyball sophomore outside hitter Brooke Sassin was looking for a change and she found just that at K-State.
After spending one semester competing at Mississippi State, Sassin transferred north to Manhattan, Kansas, to continue her volleyball career in an entirely new scene.
"I wanted to be a part of a competitive program at a big school and in a conference similar to the SEC," explained Sassin when asked about her transfer to K-State. "(At K-State), it's just a little more intense. The workouts and the trainings are different and there is a lot more expected from you."
A six-foot outside hitter, Sassin transferred to K-State last January and has spent the past seven months getting comfortable with the program.
"Usually when people come to school to play volleyball, it's in the summer; they go right into the season," said Sassin. "It was nice coming during the offseason and getting a feel of things, getting to know the girls and not having to go right into the season."
At Mississippi State, Sassin appeared in 19 matches during her freshman season and totaled 105 kills, 35 digs and 10 blocks.
While the San Antonio, Texas, native is already familiar with the Big 12, she had a first-hand look into her new conference while competing at Mississippi State. On Sept. 7, 2013, MSU took on the Baylor Bears, and Sassin posted a career-high 15 kills.
She made an impact on the court for the Bulldogs from the start and hopes to do the same now with the Wildcats.
"On the court I get really excited," Sassin said about her playing style. "I'm really competitive, so sometimes I might look a little crazy, but it's just that I'm really competitive. Volleyball is a way to channel my competitive drive. That feeling when things are going right and you're winning, I can't even describe that feeling."
Helping Sassin along the way while at K-State is former high school teammate Bailey Shurbet. Sassin and Shurbet competed at Ronald Regan High School in San Antonio together. Their senior season (2012), the two helped the Rattlers to a 42-3 record as the team won the district championship and reached the regional quarterfinals.
"She introduces me to people, shows me places and things," explained Sassin about having Shurbet around. "When I'm unfamiliar, I can always ask her about things. It's been nice to have her to help me out."
But it's not only Shurbet who has helped Sassin in her transition from Mississippi State to K-State. She said the entire team shares a special bond and that made her transition even easier.
"Everybody says, 'Oh our team has chemistry,' but I actually feel it here," said Sassin. "It's there. We don't have to be asked to hang out outside of the court and that's nice."
Plus, you just can't beat the environment in Ahearn Field House on a volleyball match day. From the noise of the Purple Pit to the cheers from the long-time season ticket holders, K-State's home court is a place to be proud of.
"At some schools, volleyball just isn't a big deal and there aren't as many fans," explained Sassin. "So it's nice to have that many fans and that many people that care about volleyball."
Fans can get a first glance at this year's K-State volleyball team at the Purple/White Scrimmage in Ahearn Field House on Aug. 16 beginning at 7 p.m. For more information on the scrimmage, click here.
K-State volleyball begins its 2014 season on August 29, with a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the Green Bay Invitational. Hosting the Varney's Invitational, the Wildcats' first home matches will take place in Bramlage Coliseum from September 4-6. For more on the 2014 K-State Volleyball schedule, click here.