CEDAR RAPIDS — With seasons starting late and being condensed, any sort of normalcy a team finds can be an advantage.
It helps when three teammates from high school end up on the same college roster.
Such is the case for Kirkwood sophomores Allison Pisarcik and Anna Gorsich, along with freshman Emily Strauss, who all played their high school volleyball together at Linn-Mar.
The Eagles are hoping to use their familiarity with each other, on and off the court, in their favor as they work to hoist the national championship trophy in mid-April when the NJCAA tournament comes to Alliant Energy PowerHouse Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.
“We’re together all the time and know a lot about each other,” Pisarcik said. “The cool thing about (living together) is there is your personal life and your volleyball life, and it all comes together.”
Pisarcik, a defensive specialist and libero, is described by head coach Jill Williams as the boss of the Eagles’ squad.
“I bring a lot of momentum and energy to the team,” Pisarcik said. “I think I might be the loud energy booster.”
Pisarcik knew her friend Maggie Peters, a Jefferson alum and a club volleyball teammate, was headed to Kirkwood along with Gorsich, her Linn-Mar teammate. It all made each of their college choices that much easier.
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“It was nice because we came in together,” Gorsich said. “Then when we heard Emily was coming here, we were super excited.”
Gorsich and Strauss are outside hitters studying nursing, something that was a deciding factor in both of them choosing Kirkwood.
“It helped a lot because I knew I could do volleyball and nursing,” Strauss said. “At a lot of schools you can’t do both, but I plan to continue my education and play volleyball if the school lets me.”
After a ninth-place finish in the most recent national tournament, the Eagles have big goals this time around.
“That would be absolutely amazing, because we’ve all played state volleyball there for Linn-Mar,” Pisarcik said. “That would be awesome if we worked hard and won the whole thing. It would be very exciting and emotional.”
The Eagles (2-1) were scheduled to host North Iowa Area Community College tonight at 7 at Johnson Hall, but the match was postponed. Regardless of the game-to-game results, the trio of former Lions and their teammates believe in themselves, as does their coach.
“I sleep fine,” Williams said. “I feel like after practice, they put me in a position to feel comfortable and confident with where we are going the next day.”