BY MURRAY GLEFFE
ASHWAUBENON – Maddie Koch’s day finally arrived – the Ashwaubenon senior signed a Division 1 national letter of intent Nov. 14 to play volleyball with Purdue University.
There wasn’t much Koch didn’t accomplish during her four years at Ashwaubenon. During her senior season as an outside hitter, she had 530 kills, 299 digs and an impressive 56 serving aces to help lead the Jaguars to a Fox River Classic Conference championship and a trip to the WIAA sectional.
“Winning conference this year was a dream come true,” Koch said. “Our team got along so well that during most games we just focused on enjoying the game of volleyball, so we didn’t get too stressed about winning.”
She was named the co-player of the year in the FRCC, garnered second team all-state honors, was named to the Under Armour All-American third team and is ranked the 42nd best player in the nation (among seniors) according to prepvolleyball.com
Next year, Koch will take her talents to West Lafayette to play in the Big Ten Conference where the Boilermakers currently sit at 21-6 under head coach Dave Shondell.
“I loved the culture and the family atmosphere that the coaches and girls have created at Purdue,” said Koch. “I’m so excited to become part of it this summer when I move onto campus. They have a great opportunity for education at Purdue that I know will prepare me for the future.”
The Boilermakers are one of six teams in the Big Ten ranked in the top 12 in the nation, making it arguably the best and toughest conference in the country.
Purdue plays its home matches at the famed Holloway gymnasium, where roughly 2,300 fans pack the newly renovated facility for fall and winter matches.
When you have played volleyball for as long as Koch has, there are sacrifices that almost always are made.
“I’ve gotten stronger and given up a lot to work out, and practice numerous hours on my game to achieve the highest goal possible right now for me in sports,” added Koch. “My biggest thank you is to my family. They’ve always been there to support me no matter the size of the problem. Next, I’d like to thank my coaches and teammates for pushing me every day of practice. I’m so thankful to be able to share a conference championship with them this year. Also, the school administrators have always honored their student-athletes and worked hard to help them out. Lastly, I’d like to thank my close friends who have supported me through thick and thin and I will forever be grateful for having you in my life.”