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College Volleyball: Anderson signs on to Jamestown

Brainerd Warriors Karlie Anderson signed her National Letter of Intent to play college volleyball next season at the University of Jamestown.

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Brainerd Warrior Karlie Anderson blocks the ball Monday, Nov. 9, against the Apollo Eagles at Brainerd High School. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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Karlie Anderson cried for a day.

The tears of joy were hard to stop after Anderson got off the phone with University of Jamestown head volleyball coach Jon Hegerle.

“It was awesome,” Anderson said. “I always wanted a scholarship and I dreamed about signing with a college volleyball team and getting a scholarship, but I never thought it was going to happen. Then it did and I bawled for probably a day because I was so happy.

“Coach called me and told me what they had to offer and then a few days later I got my letter because he wanted me to read it. He told me I was going to get a scholarship and he explained how the whole thing works and how the scholarship can grow.”

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Brainerd senior Karlie Anderson signs her NCAA National Letter of Intent to play college volleyball at the University of Jamestown. Submitted photo

Anderson was a middle hitter for the Brainerd Warriors, which finished the COVID-19 abbreviated 2020 season at 8-5 and 6-3 in the Central Lakes Conference.

The three-year varsity player led the Warriors with 127 kills, (2.7 kills per set) and was second with a 43.2 kill percentage. Her 91 blocks also led Brainerd.

She posted 11 ace serves on 90.6% serving and recorded 77 digs.

“At first, we were a little upset because we were told we would be playing in the spring and that we potentially wouldn’t even have fans in the spring,” Anderson said about the season. “Most of us, including myself, are kind of glad the season happened this fall because then we were guaranteed to have a season. The spring was still a maybe.

“We were all really happy with how the season went. Yes, we didn’t get fans like we wanted to, but we got our parents and some fans. The biggest, saddest thing was not having fans and not having the cheering going on.”

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Anderson and the Warriors had one practice before the season started because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the school. It didn’t matter as Brainerd ousted Fergus Falls 3-0 in the season opener.

The Warriors posted their first victory over Moorhead in three decades during the regular season and avenged an earlier loss to Sartell before dropping the final two games in a make-shift end-of-season Section 8-3A tournament.

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“I was not pleased with the end of the season,” Anderson said. “I’m not saying we were going to state, but it was definitely a possibility. We had the drive this year and my senior year I would have loved to even have the opportunity, but just the fact the opportunity was taken away was a hard hit for me.”

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Karlie Anderson

Under the guidance of Brainerd head coach Rick Kuehlwein, Anderson said she improved leaps and bounds.

“Coach Kuhlwein made sure I focused on my mental game 100% because I had the skill and that comes with practice, but the mental part is a big thing to work on,” Anderson said. “Coach Hegerle also notices my mental game isn’t where it needs to be. It’s growing, but it’s not where it needs to be, to be a college volleyball player. The other thing we talked about is hitting angles. If I’m going to be playing middle, I really need to get on top of the ball and hit angles. Just playing smarter pretty much.”

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Anderson had other options, but it took just one visit to Jamestown to realize she was meant to be a Jimmie.

“It was 100% the team chemistry there,” Anderson said. “I talked to the players for one day and it already felt like I was a part of their team. I watched them play a few times, but the only thing I had heard about the program is that they have an amazing gym and an amazing coach. The big thing was I heard the team chemistry was amazing and I didn’t realize it until I found out for myself.”

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It’s unclear whether Anderson will stay in the middle or move to outside or right-side hitter. She’s also unclear about her studies. She said she wants to go into personal finance and business and see what opportunities present themselves through that route.

For now, she’s excited, nervous and relieved about the start of her new chapter next fall.

“I’ve already talked to some of the incoming freshmen as well and we’re already close friends,” Anderson said. “I’m just so excited to meet new people. I’m also most nervous about meeting new people and the whole thing of being on my own.

“This is all just a big, big relief. The fact that I’m already accepted into college and I have it all planned out is nice. Most seniors worry about where they are going to go and how they are going to pay for it. I’m very glad and excited I have it all planned out now.”

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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