Many high school athletes aspire to attend a Division I school to play their favorite sport, but few have the ability to advance to the highest league in multiple sports.
Andi Kreiling, a sophomore volleyball middle blocker, aspired to play two sports during her college career. Kreiling had a successful career as a high school swimmer, where she won races, awards, and a state championship.
“All my life I’ve been swimming. My mom called me an ‘aquatic baby,'” Kreiling said.
Kreiling’s sports career didn’t start with just swimming, she had her first experiences with volleyball from the fifth grade, playing against boys and girls in a recreational league.
“I started getting really serious about it when I was 13. None of the teams really wanted me; I had no ball control and I was just super lanky,” Kreiling said.
As Kreiling grew as a volleyball player, new opportunities in the sport opened up. Kreiling was offered and taken a place on No. 21 KC Power, a club side.
Kreiling was placed on all-district, all-conference, and all-state teams for 2019 and 2020. In 2021, she was ranked No. 108 by PrepVolleyball’s list of the Top 150 Volleyball Players this that year.
Kreiling met an ASU volleyball teammate in Jaden Ravnsborg, a second-year Libero at ASU, who played on the same KC Power team.
“Andi was always the goofiest person off the pitch, but when she was on the pitch she was full of energy. She wanted everyone to work hard,” Ravnsborg said. “She pushed everyone and it transferred really well to ASU. I live with her now and she’s a great connection off the court. When we’re on the court, she’s on it and she’s focused. “
While playing competitive volleyball, Kreiling was still swimming. The former high school swimmer’s career has allowed her to become recognizable in the community and in the sport.
“I swam all through high school. My freshman year I stopped swimming because I wanted to focus on volleyball, but I also realized how much I missed the sport,” said Kreiling.
Throughout her dual-sport experience, Kreiling had to compete at the highest levels of volleyball and swimming at the same time. Friends, family and even former teammates were enthusiastic about Kreiling’s talent for swimming, especially in high-stakes events.
“She was the greatest swimmer and our club team was a huge supporter. I remember one day in practice we all dressed up as swimmers because she was going to swim in the state. We always been her biggest supporters when she wasn’t playing volleyball,” Ravnsborg said.
Her love of the sport coupled with her fleeting competitive years in high school led Kreiling to take up swimming her senior year and become a champion for her school and state.
As Kreiling’s high school career drew to a close, she made the decision to take her passion for volleyball to the next level and leave the world of competitive swimming behind. Volleyball head coach Sanja Tomasevic was interested in Kreiling’s playing ability, but it was his personality that sealed the deal.
“Once we started talking to her, we saw that she was very personable and very sympathetic,” Tomasevic said. “So the more we talked to her and the more we looked at her, we were like, ‘OK, this is a kid we want in our program.'”
Kreiling’s friendly personality isn’t the only reason she was recruited.
“In class, she’s a bookworm, so I try to talk to her and teach her to be as academic about volleyball as she is about school,” Tomasevic said of Kreiling who studies biomedical sciences and hopes to go to medical school.
Kreiling was drawn to ASU by Tomasevic and the success of the volleyball program, but her visit to campus, where she always feels like she’s on vacation, convinced her.
Kreiling made numerous appearances in the 2022 season, including the University of Evansville game with eight career-high kills and five blocks.
Kreiling and the Sun Devils return to Tempe on Friday when they face UCLA at 7:00 p.m. MST.
Kreiling is still happy with the choice to continue her volleyball career after playing at ASU for two years.
“I’ve always loved both sports, but I figured if I had to do something in college and devote all my time to one thing, I’d rather it be volleyball than swimming,” Kreiling said. “I really liked the team aspect of volleyball and I feel like I have a second family now.”
Edited by Kathryn Field, Piper Hansen and Grace Copperthite.
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