For senior libero Sophie Kuehl, it is hard to believe that this Saturday, Nov. 18, will be her final game of collegiate volleyball.
At the age of 10, Kuehl began playing the sport after attending numerous matches where she watched her two older sisters play.
From there, she fell in love with it. The Vancouver, Washington native set a goal to eventually play volleyball in college.
Now, 12 years later, that dream has been fulfilled and is sadly coming to an end.
“It’s pretty crazy to think that I’ve been playing volleyball for 12 years and in one week it’ll be over,” Kuehl said.
Kuehl began her collegiate career at the University of San Francisco.
However after a single season, she transferred to Seattle Pacific after visiting and feeling at home right away. This was due to the people she met, including professors and her soon to be teammates.
“I felt that SPU was the right school for me and I can 100% say it was,” Kuehl said. “I felt that God had a plan for me here at SPU and he indeed did.”
She then redshirted her first year at SPU in 2014 in order to become more familiar with the new system Kuehl now found herself in. Since then, Kuehl has been an instrumental part of the team here at SPU on and off the court.
In her junior year for the Falcons, Kuehl lead her team in aces for the season, with a total of 26.
That same year, she topped 200 digs in a season for the first time, finishing with 204. As a senior this season, Kuehl now has over 600 total digs in her career, collecting 216 so far this season.
She is also leading her team in aces served, recording three aces in their latest victory over Simon Fraser University, with the final ace winning the match for the Falcons on Senior Night at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
In the classroom, Kuehl excels just as much, and takes pride in her studies. This is the third year in a row that she has been selected for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.
According to her teammates, Kuehl embodies what SPU Volleyball is as a whole.
Not only has she been a great role model for the younger girls of the team this season, she essentially took on the role of team mom, as she is the eldest amongst her teammates.
“Sophie is the glue that holds our team together,” setter Symone Tran said. “She’s a great teammate and a great friend.”
It is this friendship and comradery that Kuehl believes has been most important to her during her time at SPU.
“The season has by far been the most fun I’ve ever had with any group of girls,” Kuehl said. “Although I’m sad I’ll be leaving I know that the friendships I made on this team will last a lifetime.”
Kuehl is set to graduate earlier than most, in December of this year, with a degree in communications. Having already landed a job with the Seattle Mariners last season as a navigator and sideline reporter, she hopes to continue with them or another prominent sports team in a marketing position.