Truman State University’s Fifth-year senior Ellie Kaat broke through the volleyball 1,000 career kills mark Oct. 16. Kaat is only the 18th Bulldog in University history to achieve this accomplishment.
Kaat has been on the team since her freshman year and gradually progressed into the player that the outside hitter has become today.
“I think the one word to describe my career at Truman would be ‘learning,’” Kaat said. “I was not a well-developed hitter my freshman year.”
Kaat started two matches her freshman year, and appeared in 20 matches overall, putting up decent first-year stats.
Kaat also said playing a year of club volleyball helped ease the transition into the collegiate level.
“Freshman year for me was a constant state of trying to learn how to play at the outside hitter position,” Kaat said.
Kaat had no idea that after her freshman season, she would make her mark in the record books. If one thing were to be a contributing factor, it is the teammates throughout the years supporting her, Kaat said.
“The thing about volleyball is that it is truly a team sport. I would not be able to perform without the trust and bond I’ve had with my teammates,” Kaat said. “I am eternally grateful for the role Truman State volleyball has played in my life.”
Kaat has enjoyed playing with a variety of teammates over her career and said a part of the learning curve was adjusting to each new one.
The biggest influence for Kaat coming to the team was the sense of family they exhibited, said Kaat. The team continued to support Kaat up until and after her milestone accomplishment.
“During the game, I had no idea I had reached 1,000 kills,” Kaat said. “I get into a zone when I’m out there on the court.”
Kaat said that her teammates snuck a congratulations poster with them on their trip to the Crossover Tournament. They celebrated her accomplishment after the game.
Kaat has 1,020 career kills as of their last game played Oct. 23. The senior has received two Second Team All-GLVC honors, as well as a three-time Academic All-GLVC member in her career.