Lots of travel leads to full ride for Glenwood Springs volleyball player | PostIndependent.com

Lots of travel leads to full ride for Glenwood Springs volleyball player

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photo

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Toni Gottschalck’s put a lot of miles into volleyball.

Be it driving to Edwards or Grand Junction for club practice or riding the bus for matches as a member of Glenwood Springs High School’s team, she’s spent a lot of time on the road bettering her skills.

It turns out those miles were a wise investment. Gottschalck is headed to Kansas City Kansas Community College to study and play volleyball in the fall. On a full-ride scholarship, no less.

“It was hard the first couple years, but you get used to it,” Gottschalck said, reflecting on all that travel. “It’s definitely worth it. It all paid off.”

Gottschalck started playing volleyball in the fourth grade and hasn’t let up since. She took up club ball her freshman year of high school, making volleyball a year-round venture.

“Since my freshman year I’ve been playing year-round,” said Gottschalck, who has played for club teams based out of Edwards and Grand Junction. “I’d go straight from high school straight into club.”

While time-consuming, specializing in volleyball proved worthwhile.

“I would absolutely never be where I am right now without that,” Gottschalck said.

Growing up watching local greats like Amber Sutherland and Leah Hinkey, a pair of Glenwood grads who went on to play Division I volleyball, elevated Gottschalck’s interest in the sport.

“I definitely looked up to them,” she said. “I wanted to be like that.”

If Gottschalck, who says she’ll likely play middle blocker, can put together a solid two-year stint in Kansas City, Division I ball could be a reality. Just as it was for her idols.

First, though, Gottschalck hopes to make the most of her junior college stopover.

“I’m just excited to get better, to be challenged,” she said. “I know it’ll be a lot harder than what I’ve seen, and I’m excited to take on that challenge, to be in a new place completely opposite of where I’m from.”

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