MT. VERNON – Sports play a big part in Kelby Kujawa’s life.
The Mt. Vernon senior played a trio of them – basketball, volleyball and softball – during high school. She recently committed to Kaskaskia College where her volleyball career will continue.
“I played basketball and softball for as long as I could remember and so volleyball came in kind of fresh, and it just grew on me so much.”
Entering high school, Kujawa didn’t have much volleyball experience, but she said she grow to enjoy the sport through her four years.
“It’s exciting to continue it on in college and have my academics paid for and getting to play the sport I love,” she said.
Kujawa entered her senior season knowing she would be counted on to be one of the leaders of the team. Another change was the addition of her jump serve. She used the serve as a consistent attack against opponents.
“Even just from the end of junior year, I could kind of see her make that transition in the summertime whenever we play in our league doing workouts,” Mt. Vernon coach Angie Higgins said. “She just got a lot stronger, and I think that just helped improve her game so she could compete on that higher level.”
Kujawa played a key role in the best girls basketball and volleyball teams in recent history for the Lady Rams. Mt. Vernon’s girls basketball team topped the 20-win mark for the first time in nearly a decade.
Playing for the volleyball team, the Lady Rams won 16 games. Kujawa competed in a tryout at Kaskaskia College where coach Kim Rahar had the chance to see her skills. Kujawa joins a group of nine players who will be new to the program.
“(There) definitely will be some battles in the front row to get playing time, and get their foot on the court” Rahar said. “But I think it’s a challenge for each one of them.”
Kujawa recently started her third sport of the school year with the Lady Rams softball team.