Senior showcases athletic ability through multiple sports
Either singing on the worship team, mentoring a junior high student in Sister to Sister, singing in a choir concert or on the volleyball court, senior Kayla Vanderlinden strives to be a light wherever life takes her.
Vanderlinden began her athletic journey starting in the third grade, playing softball as second basemen. She played on a club team in Santa Clarita, California, where she spent most of her childhood. One of Vanderlinden’s favorite memories took place after batting practice. Her grandma took her to the nearest Foster’s Freeze after nearly every practice and Vanderlinden always ordered a chocolate dipped cone.
Vanderlinden’s mother Kami Vanderlinden shares a memorable softball moment during one of Kayla’s softball games.
“Kayla’s funniest but also sad moment was during her softball career,” Kami said. “Her coach wanted her to pitch in one of the games. While pitching, one ball would hit the backboard, and the next would be like a bowling ball. Let’s just say, Kayla was much better at second base.”
After moving to Colorado in fifth grade, Kayla became interested in volleyball. Growing up in an active family with two brothers, volleyball came easy to her. She loved the sport right away and never stopped playing since. Her father, the operations pastor at The Well Community Church, and her family moved around a lot during her childhood, concluding at fifth grade when they moved to Fresno, California.
The following tweet features a picture of Kayla during a volleyball game.
— The Feather Online (@thefeather) August 30, 2019
Kayla attended Bud Rank Elementary for her last year of elementary and decided to make the switch to Fresno Christian for junior high and high school just like her brother Tyler Vanderlinden. Kayla learned a lot during her junior high years on campus. This gave Kayla the opportunity to involve herself in other sports such as, soccer, softball and basketball.
While Kayla is a multi-sport athlete, volleyball continues to be her favorite sport. A teammate of Kayla’s from the varsity volleyball team, Ellen Scully, ’21, shares why she loves playing with Kayla and how she leads the team.
“I love playing with Kayla because she is very encouraging and supportive of everyone on our team,” Scully said. “She leads our team by cheering and giving us confidence to do our best. It is fun to play with Kayla because she can put a smile on everyone’s face and we are able to laugh about our mistakes. I am going to miss Kayla so much when she graduates. I am thankful for the impact that the seniors have left on the lives of all the younger players.”
As Kayla finishes her last volleyball season of her high school career, she shares what she will miss most and what her favorite part of the sport is.
“I will miss getting a good dig, an awesome block, and getting a super good hit,” Kayla said. “I will also miss the team aspect of the game because we always have the most fun and make awesome memories.”
Kayla does not plan on continuing her volleyball career in college but continues to play for leisure on her free time. She plans to apply to Clovis Community College or Arizona State University as an online student with an undecided major and hopes to finish her general education.
For more articles check out Editorial: Role models guide, influence teens through actions or Student of the month: Deborah Ingerson.
Annabelle Messer can be reached via Twitter.
Slideshow below includes the sports and activities Vanderlinden is involved in.
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