Katelyn Camp answered the call. And she’s glad she did.
Aug. 17, the 2013 Newton Senior High graduate flies to Fairbanks, Ak., to play volleyball for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and obtain a college education.
“It was a faith call, I guess you could say. I was ready to sign with an area community college when the Alaska coach called. I went on the visit by myself and loved it there. I knew it was where I wanted to go play and go to school,” Camp said.
In May, Camp signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball for the Univeristy of Alaska Fairbanks, a NCAA Division II program. The 6-foot-1 setter was coming off a very productive senior season for the NHS Cardinals. She earned second team All-Little Hawkeye Conference honors and honorable mention Class 4A All-District.
A three-year captain for the Cardinals, she ranked in the top 10 for setters in Iowa’s Class 4A. This past season, Camp accrued 715 assists (7.22 per set), 114 digs, 97 kills, 40 blocks and had a 93-percent serve efficiency.
“This is a great fit for Katelyn and I’m very excited for her. I see the best years are yet to come for her,” said Newton head volleyball coach Kim Florke. “I always thought she could push and play at a higher level and now, she has a great opportunity.”
Camp said her weekend visit to UAF was tremendous and she knew when the coach offered her a scholarship that she would be accepting it.
“But I came home and talked it over with my mom, just as she told me to, but I knew I was going there before I left to come home,” Camp said. “I’m nervous, but more excited about the opportunity to play at the Division II level. I had such a great visit with the coaches and players there.”
Camp said the UAF coaches saw her play at a club volleyball tournament in Denver, Colo., in early spring. She said she learned about club volleyball when she was a junior and decided to participate even though she was a competing in basketball and tennis for NHS in the winter and spring.
“It was a big time commitment to play club volleyball while I was competing for the high school teams also. But it was worth it,” she said. “Although I’ve played three sports, I just like the team aspect of volleyball and that’s why it was the sport I chose. I love volleyball.”
She also participated in club volleyball since 2009 as a three-year captain for the Iowa Powerhouse Volleyball Association while also being a team member for the Newton AAU team 2009-10.
A tri-sport athlete at NHS, she also played four years of both basketball and tennis in high school. She was a forward for the Cardinals’ girls basketball team and was the top singles and doubles player for the tennis team. Academically, Camp has been a member of the National Honor Society since 2011.
“Katelyn was able to come in and practice with us and it was really nice to get feedback from our current student-athletes,” said UAF head coach Mallory Larranaga in a news release. “Being a person of character is one of the most important traits we look for on the recruiting trail. The character she offers our team and the teammate she is is very important to me, especially in a setter’s role.
“She complements the team very well, has good stature at 6-1 and really is going to work very hard for us. She adds a lot of height to our front row and is a very technical blocker, which is something that adds strength to our roster.”
Camp said the height wasn’t always an asset for her.
“I was really short in middle school so I got tossed into the setter group. Then I shot up when I got to high school but still loved setting the ball,” Camp said. “I like to be a little sneaky at the net and with the sets to throw teams off guard.
“As for what I can bring to the UAF team, well, to be a consistent and solid player, doing what I can to make the team successful. Plus I always have a positive attitude,” Camp said.
Camp’s high school coach concurs. Florke said Camp set for the Newton varsity for two years and got better and better every year.
“They (UAF) got a great kid. We’re excited to see what she can do,” Florke said.
Camp plans to major in nutrition and wants to become a volleyball coach.
Sports Editor Jocelyn Sheets may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 432, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.