Schoettler contributes kills, reinforces team camaraderie
Senior Emily Schoettler spikes the ball during the Eagles' 3-0 win against Tranquillity, Oct. 7. Although she is not a captain, volleyball players recognize her as a leader on and off the court.
With a record of 5-0 in the West Sequoia League, the varsity girls' volleyball team is making headway in the season. As an integral part of the team, second-year varsity player Emily Schoettler, '11, has played since elementary school, dedicating her time to her team's success.
Even though Schoettler is not a captain, she leads in her own way on and off the court, according to varsity head coach David Tatum.
"Emily likes to lead with how she plays, not necessarily with what she says," Tatum said. "She lets her play speak for itself; she would rather show you than tell you about it. As a player myself, I respect that kind of leader. It's a 'I'll put my money where my mouth is' sort of leading mentality, and I think the girls respect that."
Schoettler first became involved in volleyball at the prodding of her older sister Abby, '09 alumna, but quickly found her own passion for the sport.
"Volleyball is my passion because it's a fun, exciting sport," Emily said. "I love to play it and watch it; when I get a kill it's like an immediate energy and self-esteem boost. It gets me so pumped up, and I love the pressure it puts on you when there's a pass and a set, and I have to finish with a kill."
Fellow teammate Cassidy Hutchins, '11, recognizes the strength Emily adds to the team as well as the friendship they have maintained through the sport.
"My favorite memory of Emily was last year, because she was my 'buddy' who I warmed up with," Hutchins said. "I got to know her, and now we are good friends. In playoffs, I think she will be one of our bigger players because of her kills. Emily is really a momentum-builder who picks up the energy; Coach calls her the 'fun-gineer' because she generates fun."
Even though Emily has only played on varsity for two years, she understands her role on the team and appreciates the support that her teammates give her to succeed.
During the Eagles' 3-1 win against Fowler, Oct. 14, Schoettler leaps to tip the ball into the Redcats' court. Over the course of four matches, she made 31 kills.
"I am definitely a power player," Emily said. "My strengths are kills or hitting, but my weakness is serving. Serving is something I need to work on, but my teammates definitely help me out; they are better servers than myself."
This season, Emily is ranked 32nd in the state for kills per game (Division V) and 132nd in the nation, according to Tatum. Besides her rankings in kills, Emily has also been awarded "All Tournament Player," a coach-voted award, twice this season.
"Emily is one of our key players," Ashlyn White, '11, said. "She is the leader in kills. You need someone who can put balls away, otherwise the play will keep going. It is crucial to have a player like that."
Although many players have graduated since last year's team, Emily is optimistic about this season, she said.
"We are a whole new team," Emily said. "Five seniors graduated last year, and this year we only have three. Thankfully, we have [junior] Katelyn Miller from Yosemite High School. This year we are stronger, and I hope we win Valley. I just love the passion that we have at Fresno Christian toward volleyball, and I love our coach."
Though she has not decided whether to play in college, Emily would be an asset to her future college's volleyball team, according to Tatum.
"My personal opinion is that she is an amazing player and that she should play college volleyball," Tatum said. "The feedback she gets from many other coaches that we play against say the same thing. I know deep down that volleyball is in her heart. Either way, God has gifted her with some amazing talent."
For more volleyball profiles, read the Sept. 10 article, Transfer blocker reinforces volleyball team. For more information, check out the Volleyball sport shorts.