Alexander to play volleyball at the University of Pitt-Bradford

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

Hard work has paid off for Lady Wolves’ senior volleyball defensive specialist Kelsie Alexander who will continue playing the sport in the fall at the University of Pitt-Bradford (UPB).

The daughter of Todd and Julie Alexander signed her letter of intent to play for Head Coach Tom Roof’s Lady Panthers during a ceremony held in the Kane High gymnasium on Friday.

“I’m super excited to head to UPB. I’ve been watching them for the past two or three years. I know the one coach personally (asst. Jeff Kuleck) as my club coach and I’m very thankful for everything he has brought me. Head coach Tom Roof has been great and has been awesome in showing me around and meeting all the girls has been so wonderful. It’s so nice to have friends going into college and to have a team the whole way through,” said Alexander who played club volleyball for the Clover and Slam travel teams.

“We’re very excited to have Kelsie become part of our team at Pitt-Bradford. Kelsie is a very solid, dedicated student-athlete who loves volleyball and who knows what it takes to be successful on the court and in the classroom.

“Kelsie will come in knowing what we expect out of our players. She has been to our games and our camps, so I believe the transition will be an easy one for her. What I also like is that she comes from a successful team where she has learned what it takes to have a winning program. Through high school and club ball, she’ll bring plenty of experience with her and will be a great addition as a defensive specialist for us,” said Roof.

Alexander also credits Kane's head coach Judy Kessler for helping her to reach the next level. “She’s taught me so much. Her attitude towards winning and her attitude towards the whole team has made me so strong and knowledgeable of the game,” she said.

The future Lady Panther had 91 digs for the Lady Wolves this past season and was incredible with her serving missing just 12 times during her 222 serving attempts, according to statistics provided by Kessler who is thrilled to see Alexander move on. “I’m so excited Kelsie’s volleyball career is not over yet. She absolutely loves the game. Her skill level has just exponentially grown over the four years that she has been at our school in our program. I’m really proud she’s going to go on to play some defense,” she said. “Her overall skill and knowledge of the game have really grown which is super exciting. She’s worked really hard for it playing club ball and doing everything she could. She was at everything we did all summer long. Her dedication rate is one of the highest I’ve ever seen.”

Kessler feels Alexander will be a good fit for Roof and the Lady Panthers. “She’s ready to move forward and go to the next level. The coaching at the next level is a little different but she’ll adapt. One - she’s extremely smart, and two - she’s so dedicated to whatever it is she does. She’s very, very coachable,” she said.

“We’re very proud of her. She’s worked very hard to get here today,” said Alexander’s mother Julie, a Kane middle-school math teacher.

Todd Alexander took time to acknowledge the help his daughter has gotten throughout her career. “She’s done a fantastic job. She’s spent the last three years traveling on three different teams. I’d like to thank those three coaches Jeff Kulek, Shari Campbell, and Terry Trude. She’s done the work. While everybody else maybe was at home she was playing volleyball December through March.”

“I’m so proud of her,” said Alexander’s sister Korrie, a 2018 Kane graduate who is attending IUP and student teaching at Marion Center. “Her hard work really paid off.”

The Alexanders are also happy to see their daughter attending a college close to home. “She’ll be staying on campus but it’s great to have her within an hour. She’s far enough but she’s close enough,” her father said with a smile. “It’s nice we’ll be able to see her play so close to home. Plus it will be easier to follow her wherever she goes,” mom Julie said.

Kane Athletic Director Jason Barner said Alexander moving onto Pitt-Bradford is a source of pride for the school. “It’s great. It’s a tribute to the program. The Kane volleyball program is very strong. Kelsie is a kid that puts a ton of time in, is passionate, loves the game, and I’m excited to see her move on. It’s awesome for her and her family.”

Todd Alexander praised the school’s commitment to its athletes and his daughter’s teammates. “They’re all a bunch of fabulous kids that love to play sports. There are great coaches here that want to win and they really care about the kids. It’s something special,” he said.

Alexander also plays softball, is a member of the National Honor Society, has been Class President for two years, has been a member of SADD for four years, was a member of the Prom Committee, and has volunteered for KARE for Kane and the Special Olympics.

She couldn’t be happier spending her high school years in Kane. “This small town has definitely given me so many opportunities with sports, being part of the community, and meeting so many wonderful people. I’m so thankful for everything,” she said.