Getting To Know: Alyssa Schultejans
Getting To Know: Alyssa Schultejans
Alyssa Schultejans had quite a prep volleyball career at Silver Lake High School.
The outside hitter was named all-league - three times. She was selected as all-state - also three times. She was even named 3A Player of the Year - twice. And that is after passing over the handful of in-season and post-season all-tournament selections plus a significant honor earned back in early November: Under Armour Second Team All-American.
Schultejans is the third K-State signee to be named a first or second team high school All-American, fifth total to wear a Wildcat uniform. Current teammates Kali Eaken (2013) and Sheridan Zarda (2011) will stand alongside Schultejans in 2015 with an All-American high school career in their past.
The trophy cabinet may be full for Schultejans, but she filled up the Kansas high school record book as the all-time leader in career kills. She nearly broke the 2,000 mark, finishing with 1,985 after more than 600 in her junior year followed by 732 as a senior. Throw in more than 400 digs and 100 blocks, and the left-side proved her abilities were all-around, and not just in the kills category.
"Since we recruited Alyssa, she was playing in the middle for the majority of time up through her freshman year," said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz. "We felt that wasn't where she was likely to, or should, end up long-term. She had some opportunities throughout her club and high school experience to move out to the pin. She continues to develop as an all-around player, someone who can do more than just hit and block. Her versatility is what made her so attractive for us."
Schultejans may have stood out in Silver Lake, but at K-State, she is going to be one of three 2013 Kansas high school volleyball players of the year on the team, joining Eaken (4A-Division I) and Bryna Vogel (4A-Division II). The only difference is Schultejans picked up her player of the year honor as a junior in 2013 while Eaken and Vogel were seniors. Of course, Schultejans also garnered another player of the year award in her senior year.
Schultejans will join returning outside hitters Kylee Zumach (Big 12 Freshman of the Year), Brooke Sassin (second on the team in kills in 2014) and Vogel to help create a formidable quartet on K-State's left side. Athletically, Schultejans will slide right into the group just fine, but in terms of personality, she expects to also fit in quite well. The 2014 team was known for its loose approach off the court, but determination and resiliency throughout practice and matches.
"Off the court, I'm pretty laid back, but on the court, I'm really determined and competitive," said Schultejans. "I have a sense of urgency - I like to get the big kills and get excited."
Excitement will not be hard to find either for Schultejans in her new environment. Ahearn Field House has a reputation for being loud, and with the K-State volleyball program coming off a 22-win campaign that ended in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats are trending up to be among the Big 12's upper echelon once again in 2015.
"When I came to a game [on a school visit], I just really liked the competitive atmosphere," said Schultejans about K-State. "Everyone came to watch and got excited about it."
As for what those fans can expect from Schultejans over the next few years are her being "dynamic," "athletic," and "a more terminal attacker," words used by Fritz to describe Schultejans as she enters the program. Schultejans' life as a Wildcat has already begun as she enrolled a semester early to get a head start on her development. With limited practice time already started for the volleyball team this semester, she is eager to put that prep volleyball career behind her and help bring in more honors at her new home, K-State.