PBL's Kalista Klann signs letter of intent to play volleyball for Purdue University-Northwest

PAXTON -- For Kalista Klann, Oct. 27, 2015, was a bittersweet night.
"I'll never forget this day," Klann said.
A sophomore at the time, Klann was part of a Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School volleyball team that lost 30-28, 23-25, 25-23 to St. Thomas More in the IHSA Class 2A regional semifinals.
"It was kind of a hard loss because I realized that would be the last time I would be playing with the seniors that year," Klann said. "I had grown really attached to the seniors. We grew really close, and I realized it was the last time we were going to be playing."
One of the then-seniors Klann grew attached to was Kellyn Maynard, who would sign a letter of intent to play basketball for Illinois Central College later in the school year. 
"She really taught me that hard work pays off, and I thank her every day for that," Klann said. 
After the match, Klann's father, Mitchel, informed Kalista that her 41 assists shattered the school record for most assists in a match, and that she also set the school mark for assists in a set during the match.
"At first, I was like, 'Uh, what? I don't really understand what you're talking about,'" Kalista Klann said.
During her team's awards night afterwards, PBL head coach Lindsay Muehlbauer, who was absent from the match due to getting treatments at a hospital for kidney stones, confirmed the records to Klann.
"It just all kind of sunk in then," Klann said. "It was an amazing experience, and I'll never forget that."
By the time she finished her senior year, Klann broke at least two more school records, including the mark for most career assists, which stands at 1,677.
"It really does show that hard work does pay off," Klann said. "That's what I believe in." 
Along with playing for PBL's Junior High School and High School volleyball teams, Klann was a member of the Prime Time Volleyball club team since she was in the sixth grade.
"I worked hard over the summers lifting at the school at the team and lifting on my own as well as just training, playing club (volleyball) and all that good stuff," Klann said. "It has paid off so far."
Like Maynard before her, the hard work paid off for Klann with the opportunity to play college sports, as she signed her letter of intent to play volleyball for Division II school Purdue University-Northwest on Wednesday. 
"That's super-exciting," Klann said.
Klann made a verbal commitment to Purdue-NW over the summer. 
"It was a good decision. It was a fun process," Klann said. "It was exciting and stressful at the same time."
Purdue-NW was one of nine colleges she visited, a list that includes Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Augustana College, Greenville College, Anderson University and Lindenwood University.
"Each visit was a lot of fun," Klann said. "You can really get a feel for the campus and the life you would be having. You get to talk to the coaches and see if it's the right fit for you. I pretty much knew once I visited that I could see myself there for the next four years. It was exciting."
After making her recruiting visit to Purdue-NW in July, in which she practiced with the team and met the coach, Klann went to a four-day camp at the campus in Hammond, Indiana, where she got to live in dorms and visit a lot of the volleyball players.
On the third day of the camp, Klann called her mother, Tammy.
"I was like, 'OK, so I decided I'm going to go here,' and she was like, 'OK, sounds good,'" Kalista Klann said. "I had a lot of fun visiting and going to their camp, meeting their coach, talking to all the players, all that jazz. I'm really excited for the next four years."
Along with playing volleyball, Klann also will take part in Purdue's Honors program so she can go to a graduate program and train to become either a nurse practicioner or a nurse anethetist.
"We'll see once I kind of get into the swing of things and see what I'm good at and what I like in the four years," Klann said. "I'm super-excited about my future."
Klann said, in the meantime, that she will miss her hometown of Paxton.
"I'll definitely miss my hometown and being able to go to games and having a bunch of people from the community recognizing who you are, but I am ready for a change," Klann said. "I'm super-excited for the next four years, and I can't wait to see what's in store for me."
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Volleyball, Sports


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