It’s not hard to figure out who the lifeblood of the Wheeling Jesuit volleyball team is. It’s Haley Kindall, the middle blocker who’s dancing, doing handstands and jumping around during pre-game warmups.
But, again, that’s just a warmup. During matches, her energy is only amplified, as she kills balls left and right with impressive force, constantly communicates with teammates and screams her head off after every won point. By the time her Cardinals finish off Western Washington to advance to the final round of the 2015 Division II women’s volleyball tournament, her face is bright red.
Cardinals win! Advance to the National Volleyball Championship Game tomorrow night! GO CARDS!— Wheeling Jesuit (@WheelingJesuit) December 11, 2015
“She’s a crazy person,” junior Samantha Obringer says of Kindall. “She’s fun on and off the court, and I love playing with her so much. She gets me excited whenever she makes a kill; I think I get even more excited than she does.”
“I think [Kindall’s energy] definitely makes us more excited,” junior Andrea Thobe said. “You see her out there going crazy and you want to just get as excited as her. I think it really helps the team and gives us a lot of energy.”
Where does Kindall’s high motor come from? Even she doesn’t know.
“It’s just how I am,” she said. “I’m kind of in my own zone and It’s just the way I play. Luckily I have coaches who love me for it. It’s just how I’ve always been, and it’s just a part of me.”
Kindall is fortunate to have her Cardinals teammates and coaches, but they’re also more than lucky to have her.
The Westerville, Ohio native was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American this season, and is in the midst of a stellar tournament. She has received Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team, AVCA All-Atlantic Region First Team and CCA All-Atlantic Region Second Team honors so far. And on Friday's semifinal stage, she recorded 13 kills and a match-best 16 points for the Cardinals.
Now, with their vocal leader at her most amped, Wheeling Jesuit will make its first championship game appearence in program history. The Cardinals will take on the winner of Friday night’s contest between Wayne State and Palm Beach Atlantic.