Forest Park's Giesler signs with Vincennes volleyballDecember 11, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
FERDINAND — Another local student-athlete realized their dreams to play their sport at the collegiate level when Forest Park senior Kylie Gielser signed her letter of intent on Wednesday to play volleyball at Vincennes University. She was joined by her family, friends and teammates in a ceremony in Forest Park’s library.
“It’s exciting,” said Giesler, who earned All-Pocket Athletic Conference honors this past season and holds the Rangers’ all-time assists mark with 1,647. “It was definitely stressful before picking where I wanted to go. I’m excited and relieved to have it out of the way.”
Giesler originally intended to go somewhere far away for school, but changed her mind to stay close to home. She contacted some closer schools like Franklin College and Wabash Valley College (Ill.), but then Vincennes reached out to her and convinced her to take a campus visit. The rest is history.
“I fell in love with the campus,” Giesler said. “I fell in love with the team and everything. I just loved it.”
Rangers volleyball coach Alexa Rasche remembers being surprised that Giesler could hit the ball as hard as she did, but she also had the intelligence and awareness to direct traffic from her setter position. She said Giesler got better at covering the court as she matured and reached the point where she could have played effectively anywhere on the floor. Rasche is also happy the younger players can see how their hard work could pay off for them in the future.
“It’s exciting for all the girls,” Rasche said. “Especially for the younger ones to see someone who put in so much time and what that can do for you. It’s exciting to see her be successful and stay motivated throughout her years. It’s exciting to see what they can do together.”
Parents Paul and Jamie Giesler are proud to see all their daughter’s hard work — which included traveling to the likes of Evansville and Louisville for tournaments and extra training — culminate with an opportunity to keep pursuing her passion at the collegiate level. With Gielser being close, they plan on becoming fixtures in the stands, showering her with love and support.
“She’s going to have her own cheer block,” said Jamie, a 25-year volleyball coach at Forest Park. “We’re a close, big family. She has 23 cousins and eight aunts and uncles on one side, and the other side has a lot more, too. We’ve been behind her 100% her entire career.”
Paul is glad things can continue for his daughter for a few more years.
“It’s an honor to have her do that while she’s put in the hard work through the years and traveled around,” he said.
Giesler is going to miss playing with her friends and the memories they made together while at Forest Park, but she is looking forward to taking her game to the next level and creating new memories at Vincennes.
“I’m looking forward to improving and getting better,” she said. “You’re going to see a lot more competition because you’re expanding your horizons when you get in college with all the teams. I’m looking forward to making new friends with my teammates.”
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