By Brent Huelsmann
After four years playing volleyball at Nashville Community High School, NCHS Senior Abby Kempfer will play at the next level. Kempfer signed to play at Iowa Wesleyan University after graduation from NCHS. Kempfer is the fifth NCHS athlete to sign this year, but the first one to sign to play volleyball at the next level.
Kempfer said she started the process a little late, but knew she always wanted to play. “I knew I wanted to play volleyball ever since I started playing volleyball. I went through the whole college search. I kind of started late which made it a little difficult. I narrowed it down to two colleges, and I went with my best decision. With the one that made me feel like I was at home.” Kempfer went on a visit to Iowa Wesleyan and immediately fell in love. “I loved it. It was the best experience ever.”
Kempfer wrapped up a great career for the Hornettes this past season. Kempfer led the Hornettes this past season in blocks with 78, 21 more than the next closest on the team. Kempfer also racked up 115 kills this season, which was second on the team to Mackenzie McFeron. Kempfer also 27 aces while serving this past season, which was tied for second on the Hornettes. Kempfer was named All-Conference after the 2016 season.
Kempfer will join a team that competes at the Division III level, and plays in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Teams competing in the conference are Westminster (Mo.), Greenville, Webster, Principia, Fontbonne, Eureka, Spalding, Blackburn, and Macmurray. Iowa Wesleyan is based in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Kempfer says that she doesn’t know what her role will be but does say, “I am going to play wherever the coach puts me.” Kempfer added that she believes the biggest difference between the college level and the high school level will be the competition. “I feel like it is going to be a lot more competitive because we are playing against bigger schools, and more schools than we already are playing with”
As for what she has learned while at NCHS, Kempfer said. “I’ve learned to be confident in myself, which I have really built up in the past four years.” Kempfer added that she will miss a lot about playing at NCHS. “I really enjoyed our team’s time in A-J’s locker room. We always had a fun time down there. And I just loved being with the girls everyday. I’m going to really miss it.”
While in college, Kempfer says she will study Biology.