Sophomore setter Katalin Minnerly was not only named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll last year, but currently leads in assists per set in the SoCon.
“She’s doing a great job and on and off the court she’s a great kid,” Georgia Southern University volleyball head coach Dustin Wood said. “She’s a great kid who comes to work every day. This year was a big transition for her. She stepped in the role as the starting setter, she’s handled everything that I’ve given her mentally.”
Minnerly’s family is her biggest fan and supporter, but her sister inspired her to play volleyball.
“My mom and dad are definitely big supporters,” Minnerly said. “And my sister because she inspired me and she supports me now that she’s done.”
Minnerly began playing volleyball in the third grade after watching her sister play. She knew she wanted play college volleyball after watching her sister play at Texas A&M University.
“I decided to play college volleyball pretty much in junior high, because I saw my sister,” Minnerly said. “She was getting recruited at the time so I was like I want to be just like her.”
Being a student athlete is hard work, but Katalin has learned to stay focused and balanced.
“It’s very hard. I balance it by getting my study hours done early in the week and trying to study early in the day and during the day so that at night I can have my own time,” Minnerly said.
Minnerly leaves her social life for the weekend, and when she has free time she likes to catch up on her beauty sleep.
“Mostly on the weekend is when I can have a social life, but other than that it’s studying all week,” Minnerly said. “I like to sleep. I like to watch movies with my friends and I go hang out with some of my teammates. Sometimes I’ll go to Savannah and hangout there, but mostly I’ll just stay home and sleep.”
Minnerly’s first choice for school was not GSU, but she fell in love with the campus the first time she saw it.
“I didn’t know anything about Georgia Southern, but when I came and visited, I thought it was a beautiful campus and I just loved the surroundings,” Minnerly said.
Minnerly leads the Eagles with 1,025 assists and leads in assists per set in the SoCon with 11.26.
“I think this is my greatest accomplishment, getting this far definitely because when I was in third grade, I didn’t think that I would become a volleyball player in college,” Minnerly said. “I never thought that this would actually happen and now that I’m here, I’m living the dream that I wanted to.”
Minnerly’s next step after college includes more school and less volleyball.
“I want to get on with my life, it’s my next chapter in life,” Minnerly said. “I want to go back to Texas and be around my family and go to grad school and start a job there.”
Minnerly and the Eagles play their next conference match today against The Citadel at 6 p.m. in Charleston. With a little more than a week left in the season, the Eagles nest in the No. 1 spot in the SoCon and have dreams of winning a conference title.
“I try to motivate them [teammates] with winning conference. I know that last year we were first in conference and we were supposed to win SoCon, the entire thing and win the tournament, but we didn’t and we got that taken away from us,” Minnerly said. “So, I think that as a team that we want to get that goal again and we want to win conference and win tournament, and I try to motivate them and tell them that we can do both.”