By Garrett Krohne
Last Wednesday, Nashville saw another one of their own sign on to continue not only their academic career, but their athletic career at the collegiate level. This time, it was 2020 graduate, Addi Gale. Gale will be playing volleyball at Kaskaskia College this coming fall. She joins her former teammate, Abby Wesselman, as the second Hornette to sign since the conclusion of the season.
“A lot of my friends that I’ve known have played there, they’re a very good team. It’s close to home, they have what I need for schooling, and I think I’ll have a really good season there with everybody else,” explained Gale.
As expected, there will be a learning curve and adjustment period as Gale makes the transition from high school to college. While she will miss the comfortability of playing with her teammates from Nashville, she is welcoming the challenge as well as the opportunity of meeting the new players on her team.
“I really think in high school you’re always with your close friends, you know what’s happening and what’s going on, and with college I don’t know a lot of people there, so I think it’s going to be kind of hard. At the same time it’ll be fun to play with new people, different people,
and learn new things,” said Gale. Playing alongside her new teammates and continuing to compete is an opportunity she is most looking forward to. “I’m most looking forward to playing with different people playing at a bigger level. I love playing competitive volleyball, it’s just my
favorite sport ever.”
The competitiveness in which she was speaking of is a quality that stood out to Nashville Head Coach Josh Konkel.
“Very competitive. I think she’s still improving. She’s a very driven player. Hopefully she continues to improve her game like she has the last two years, and continues to improve at the junior college level,” said Konkel.
Kim Rahar, who is the Head Coach for the Lady Blue Devils, also harped on Gale’s abilities as a volleyball player.
“Her ability in the front row to take care of the ball. I had an opportunity to watch her play a couple times. I was able to see her play the front row, and that’s what we’re needing. She’s coming from a good program, so she will be able to step on the floor and play with us,” said Rahar. She noted it was towards the middle of the Hornette’s season when Gale started to catch her attention. “Coach Konkel and I have had a lot of conversations about his players, and what’s going on. She was still deciding where she wanted to go, and we were able to get her. You watch these players year after year as they develop, and I don’t think she’s reached her potential.”
Gale credited her coaches and teammates for her continued growth, the acceleration and the improvements in her game.
“I think my coaches and teammates have really helped me. I’ve really grown this past year, so moving forward going to college I’ll be able to adjust more, and I can play middle, right side, inside, really anywhere, so I think that’s going to help me out a lot,” said Gale.
Throughout the years, Gale explained she may have envisioned herself playing college sports, but that of another nature. She first had a love for basketball and was not interested in the thought of even picking up a volleyball.
“Whenever I was in grade school I loved basketball, and I hated volleyball. As soon as I got into high school everything turned around, and then I loved volleyball and hated basketball.
So I would’ve never thought. If you would’ve asked me four years ago I would’ve never thought I’d be going to college to play volleyball,” said Gale.
Looking back on her time as a Hornette, she noted her most memorable games as a Hornette usually came against none other than Pinckneyville.
“Playing Pinckneyville was always fun. We were rivals, and we all have good friends from there too, so beating them and losing to them is always kind of different depending on how it goes. It’s always a fun game against them,” recalled Gale.
For Konkel, his fondest memory of his former player came at an unexpected time during Gale’s junior season. “We were down at Vienna and Bailey Melton goes down with her sprained ankle. I looked over at the bench, and I saw Addi kind of like just a deer in the headlights look, she knew she was going in. The way she came in that game and kept the momentum going, not only that game, but the following two games to get us to state. I’ll never forget that. I’m super proud of Addi for being able to accomplish this.”
Gale is planning to major in accounting and business management. She is the daughter of Tom and Erin Gale.