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Local Sports Hero

02 January 2015 Written by  By Michelle Lassle
Published in January 2015 Articles

As part of a military family, Kaitlynn Zdroik knows what it means to frequently be on the move.

While most would see that as a tough situation, it instilled in Kaitlynn a constant readiness for whatever comes her way which has come in handy while participating in sports. “My family moved around a lot, and we could have ended up anywhere,” Kaitlynn said. “I am very thankful that we chose Brentwood as our home and for all of the support from Liberty High School.”

Kaitlynn began swimming competitively at the age of six, inspired by her natural ability in the water and her mother’s college swimming career. She joined the Aquaknights Swim Team where she stayed and thrived until 2012, but not before breaking records, and earning various recognitions including Coach’s Award and MVP. Kaitlynn then transitioned into the Spare Time Aquatics Swimming system where she became a Junior Olympics long-course meters qualifier and competitor in six events.

Then while on a trip to visit her cousins in Colorado, Kaitlynn was introduced to volleyball. “I went to watch my cousin play, and it looked like so much fun,” Kaitlynn said. So she tried out and made the Edna Hill volleyball team and loved it so much that she begged her mother to find her a club team to join. Kaitlynn became a part of the Uncommon Synergy Volleyball Club where she began to develop her skills. “I have played libero, outside hitter, and opposite hitter,” Kaitlynn said, “but I’m now working in the setter position.” Kaitlynn ended up becoming 2012 Female Scholar Athlete of the Year as the starting setter.

As a freshman at Liberty High School Kaitlynn tried out for both sports and made it directly onto varsity. For the swim team Kaitlynn competes in the 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle, and 100 yard backstroke as her individual events. She is also a crucial component of the relay teams. “I most enjoy sprints because they are so quick, full of instinct and pure adrenaline,” Kaitlynn said. In volleyball Kaitlynn was first a starting libero but is now the starting setter. Kaitlynn and the Lady Lions Varsity Volleyball Team have had three successful seasons. The girls have advanced to NCS every year and made it to the second round last year. “It’s the furthest the team has gone in five years!” This year they placed second in BVAL. However, Kaitlynn and her fellow future seniors are determined to be champions in their final year of high school. “The other four girls and I made up the motto ‘Only Together,’” Kaitlynn said. “We compare ourselves to a hand where all five fingers are required in order to be successful.”

In addition to high school volleyball, Kaitlynn has continued to put in the hours on her club team. Her Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy team finished in the top 25% of all Northern California Volleyball Association Power League 16U teams last season. Kaitlynn was selected as a setter on the 2014 USA Volleyball Association A2 Youth National Team. “Over the summer I trained in Colorado Springs,” Kaitlynn said. “I was thrilled to play with talented girls from across the country and was so honored to wear USA on my jersey.”

Kaitlynn’s years in athletics have awarded her quite a list of recognition. Her freshman year she was MVP and a top BVAL finalist in swimming. Then as a sophomore Kaitlynn earned BVAL First Team All-Conference recognition in volleyball, and MVP, BVAL first place finisher, and NCS competitor in the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays for swimming. This year Kaitlynn was the team captain and earned BVAL First Team All-Conference recognition again for volleyball. When Kaitlynn isn’t being active she is focusing on maintaining her spot in the top five percent of her class. Since entering high school Kaitlynn has kept a 4.0 GPA, earning Athletic Director, BVAL, and NCS Scholar Athlete recognition for both volleyball and swim teams. Last year she took two AP courses, and she is currently in AP Psychology and AP Studio Drawing. Kaitlynn is also involved in leadership and community service. “As a Girl Scout Ambassador I have organized and participated in several events to prepare care packages for military members serving overseas,” Kaitlynn said. “I also helped collect and ship over 300 pairs of shoes to earthquake victims.”

As a junior Kaitlynn has only begun the college scouting process; however, she does know that she would like to play volleyball at the college level where she hopes to continue making her family proud. “My grandmother in Wisconsin FaceTimes with my dad so she can watch all of my volleyball games,” Kaitlynn said. “And now my grandfather, who sadly recently passed away, will be able to see all my games also. They are my motivation.”

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