Small College Sports

Kirkwood volleyball has an All-American in Alexa Aldrich-Ingram

Iowa City High graduate was second in NJCAA Division II in kills (709), led Eagles to Final Four

Kirkwood sophomore Alexa Ingram (3) battles at the net during the second set of a college volleyball match at Johnson Hall in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Kirkwood sophomore Alexa Ingram (3) battles at the net during the second set of a college volleyball match at Johnson Hall in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Alexa Aldrich-Ingram arrived at Kirkwood with one remaining year of eligibility.

The Iowa City High graduate made the most of her time.

Less than a month after leading the Eagles to the NJCAA Division II women’s volleyball national semifinals, the 5-foot-8 sophomore outside hitter has been named to two separate All-America teams in the past week.

“It means a lot,” Aldrich-Ingram said. “Just because I have such an amazing team and support system and coaches. I just feel like everything added up and it was really an amazing feeling.”

Aldrich-Ingram was a first team All-America selection by the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Committee, while the American Volleyball Coaches Association named her to the second team of its Two-Year College All-America squad, which encompasses all divisions of junior college volleyball.

Aldrich-Ingram finished second in all of NJCAA Division II with 709 kills, which was second in school history for a single season. Her 4.32 kills per established a school record on a Kirkwood team that ended the season with a 34-10 mark and a fourth-place national finish, the highest for the Eagles since their 2003 national championship.

“It was really exciting,” said Aldrich-Ingram, who was named to the all-tournament team. “Everything about nationals was exciting in general, so that was just really awesome. It was an awesome feeling, I know, for everyone.”

After a standout prep career at Iowa City High that included two appearances on the Class 5A all-state team, Aldrich-Ingram originally signed with Drake but transferred to Iowa after one semester with no intention of pursuing volleyball.

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Her attendance at a Kirkwood volleyball open gym revealed a fresh opportunity to return to the game at the position she loved – outside hitter. After a second transfer, Aldrich-Ingram was off and running with the Eagles.

“She just did her thing,” Kirkwood Coach Jill Williams said. “For myself, it was not about forcing the issue, but letting her find herself, find her comfort. … With junior college, I have my hands full getting a bunch of other players ready to go, so she probably wasn’t my primary focus. It was trying to get as many new players as we had ready to go and just trust that she would find her way back into her rhythm. Her confidence level just grew so much throughout the season.”

After having such an impactful, successful and, above all, fun season, Aldrich-Ingram is now exploring her considerable options for returning to the court next year at a four-year institution.

“I am going on some visits, but nothing is for sure yet,” Aldrich-Ingram said. “I’m still kind of undecided. … This year with volleyball was just so much fun that I talked to my family and it is definitely an option still.”

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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