Freshman setter excelling in place of injured teammate

Alyssa Huskinson

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There’s no doubt the latest force to be reckoned with under the net is Katie Aprile, a freshman setter for the Sacramento State Hornets’ volleyball team.

Coming off what some would call a successful high school career, Aprile came to Sacramento State and is now the first starting freshman setter since 2005. And while some players have difficulty transitioning from being a high school star into a freshman starter, Aprile has taken the changes with ease.

“She’s a freshman and she’s a stud,” said junior outside hitter Eryn Kirby. “It’s a really big job she’s coming into and I think she’s doing a great job. She’s only going to get better.”

Aprile graduated this summer from Escalon High School where she reigned as team captain her junior and senior years. Her senior year she was second team All-District. Aprile is the fourth best in the Sac-Joaquin Section with an average of 8.5 assists. With these accolades she is hopeful to find a balance between her educational and athletic career.

“Studying and playing volleyball — it’s my life,” Aprile said.

Over her final three seasons with the team, Escalon had a combined overall record of 68-21 and a conference mark of 34-11. Aprile started her college career, as a four-year scholar-athlete award winner after maintaining a 3.0 GPA in high school.

Aprile, who was a member of the Impact Volleyball Club for eight years, comes from a family that bleeds volleyball, where it is not just a sport — it’s a way of life for the Aprile’s. Not only did her two older sisters play college volleyball, but her stepfather used to coach volleyball as well.

“She keeps getting better and better,” said head coach Ruben Volta. “She’s getting adjusted to the college game. She’s been running our offense really well.”

She is getting the chance to show her skills as a starter after a knee injury sidelined sophomore setter Hannah Hettigna. This season began with Aprile as the only setter on the roster, but since then the coaching staff have moved Anna Schoener to the setter position as well.

Constantly adjusting to her starting position, Aprile continues to have her family as a support system.

“They have really supported me by having me go to camps and joining club volleyball teams,” Aprile said.

Not only does she have her family for support, Aprile has her new teammates as well to help with the transition.

“I’m transitioning pretty well,” Aprile said. “Everyone has taken me in and shown me what to do. The team has been really good about my transition.”

While Aprile knows setting is her main strength, she is not just relying on her talent. She said she could work on her defense skills and that is one thing that the coaches are working on with her.

Aprile is optimistic about her college career. So far, the setter has shown she is capable of playing Division I volleyball. She has set goals for herself for her first college season.

“If I mess up just blow it off and go onto the next point,” Aprile said. “I want to keep my play up throughout the season, keep my sets the same and help out everyone else. I want us to win our conference and do really good in the Big Sky Tournament.”

Alyssa Huskinson can be reached at ahuskinson@statehornet.com