The Saint

Kraus & Rozell Achieve Career Milestones

Photo courtesy of AQ Athletics

Article by, Lindsay Hillstrom

In their final season with the Aquinas women’s volleyball team, seniors Meredith Kraus and Jackie Rozell each achieved career milestones. The pair of outside hitters have been a key part of the Saints’ offense, putting up impressive numbers and breaking records in the process.

On October 23, Kraus got her 500th career kill in a victory over Siena Heights. “I was actually shocked,” she stated. “I didn’t know that was my 500th kill until [Coach Ryan Campbell’s] wife came up and cheered it. It was pretty nice to hit that milestone senior year.” Even more impressive is the fact that she more than doubled her career kills during the 2021 season alone. “Meredith has had a phenomenal season. Her best season yet,” said Campbell. 

Kraus’s feat comes just a few weeks after her teammate Rozell recorded her 1,000th career kill, placing her 5th all-time in Aquinas history. “My teammates, coaches, family, and friends were so excited for me once the ball hit the floor,” Rozell said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more in that moment. I’ll never forget it.” Campbell acknowledged Rozell’s incredible performance, stating, “It takes a strong career to get to 1,000 kills. Jackie has been a key player each of the 4 seasons she played at Aquinas.”

Photo courtesy of AQ Athletics

Coach Campbell had nothing but praise for the two outside hitters. “Jackie and Meredith have been our go-to players all season,” he said. “It’s nice to have two strong veteran outsides because generally outsides get the most sets. We will miss them for sure next season. There will be some big shoes to fill for the 2022 roster.”

Kraus and Rozell both looked back fondly on their experiences playing together at Aquinas. “Playing with Jackie is so much fun, she is a great teammate,” Kraus said. “She is very competitive and holds herself to a high standard. She is an amazing player and I’m so happy she blew through that milestone.” Rozell echoed these sentiments, stating, “Mere is an incredible teammate that is not afraid to take big swings when we need someone to step up and put a ball away. She has taken a lot of initiative on both the offensive and defensive end of the game these last couple years and led us through many great games.”

Kraus and Rozell also credited the support of their teammates in helping them achieve their impressive career milestones. “You always have someone to go to on this team,” Rozell said. “There’s always someone there to listen during the hard times and there will always be someone there to give you a pat on the back when you do well. Having teammates that work so hard and will spend extra time in the gym pushing themselves to get better, only makes you work and play that much harder for them every day.” Aquinas hopes to finish out the 2021 season with a strong performance in the WHAC Tournament this week.

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