Lending a helping hand

Lending a helping hand

Jay Bushen

The No. 19 Grand Valley State University women’s volleyball team has found a secret weapon in the form of a transfer student from Grand Rapids Community College.

Junior setter Kaitlyn Wolters is proving to be a catalyst for GVSU (8-2, 2-0 GLIAC) this season, as the
team is off to a fast start with a new facilitator running its offense.

Head coach Deanne Scanlon said opponents will have to account for an added dimension that Wolters
brings to the table.

“A lot of it is the way that she releases the ball,” Scanlon said. “It’s very quick out of her hands. The
blockers on the other side of the net have a very short period of time to react and respond to what
they see.”

Wolters transferred to GVSU after leading GRCC to an NJCAA Division II National Championship in
2012. She not only earned NJCAA All-American honors, but was also named the most valuable player
in the national tournament in addition to being named to the All-Tournament Team.

She said she will never forget the feeling of being a national champion.

“It was a rush… almost surreal,” she said. “It was a great accomplishment.”

Part of the reason she was so successful at the junior college level was due to the chemistry she had
with an outside hitter for the Raiders who also made the All-Tournament Team: her identical twin
sister, Kourtney Wolters.

“Kourtney was my go-to person,” Kaitlyn said. “She always wanted the best for me and would always
pick me up when I had a bad day. It’s hard adjusting now without her here.”

Kourtney ultimately ended up playing club volleyball at Western Michigan University this fall. Scanlon
said she later tried to recruit her, but the twins decided to go in different directions.

Without her sister, Kaitlyn has still been able to adjust and immediately make a difference for GVSU.

It has not taken Wolters long to prove herself at the NCAA Division II level, as the GLIAC named her the
North Division Player of the Week less than two weeks into the 2013 season. Her 9.76 assists per set
currently rank as the fifth most in the GLIAC.

Sophomore outside hitter Betsy Ronda said Wolters’ style of play has helped fuel the team’s six-game
winning streak.

“She knows when to switch it up and knows what plays to make,” Ronda said. “She’s cool, calm and
collected, and has obviously had a big impact on our team and our success so far.”

GVSU is starting to look like the team to beat in the GLIAC after upsetting three top-25 ranked
opponents in its first 10 games.

On Friday, Wolters recorded a game-high 28 assists to go with 10 digs in the team’s victory at home
over Hillsdale College. She followed up that performance on Saturday with a 51-assist outing in a five-
set victory over Northwood University, adding 16 digs and six kills. The Timberwolves had been
picked to finish first in the 2013 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

When asked if she would be able to help bring a national championship to Allendale, Wolters did not

“I believe in this team,” she said.

The team seeks to continue its winning streak on the road this weekend as it travels to Ohio to take
on Malone University on Friday at 7 p.m. and Walsh University on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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