Herd, Kuethe ready for Volleyball opener this weekend at Illinois State's Barker GMC Classic.





Herd, Kuethe ready for Volleyball opener this weekend at Illinois State's Barker GMC Classic.

8/26/2002


Senior Heidi Kuethe will be making a homecoming appearance this weekend in Normal, Illinois, as Marshall opens the 2002 season at the Illinois State Barker GMC Classic. Kuethe played high school volleyball at nearby University High School in Normal.

High Energy Kuethe Looks Forward to Coming Home
By Tom Lamonica/ISU

Normal, Ill. -- Some who have seen Heidi Kuethe play volleyball
would claim she plays with enough energy to light Redbird Arena. When
the University High School graduate and Marshall University outside
hitter starts talking about her upcoming trip home for the Barker GMC
Classic at Redbird Arena this week, the electricity comes through in
her voice.

Major shoulder surgery put Kuethe's career in doubt two years ago--a
surgery similar to that experienced by Illinois State's Jenny Kabbes.
But now the Marshall outside hitter is fully recovered and anxious to
start her senior season in her hometown, as Marshall joins Illinois
State, Florida State and Alabama Friday and Saturday in the Barker
Classic.

"I can't wait to play in Redbird Arena in front of so many people I
know," said Kuethe, whose parents, Robert and Jean--both ISU
alumni--are frequent Redbird volleyball fans when they can't follow
their daughter. Her aunt, Colleen Lucht, won't have far to go to
find her seat. She is part of the university's Environmental Health
and Safety staff located just across the drive from Redbird Arena.
"Redbird Arena brings back so many memories. I appreciate the
opportunity."

Kuethe's speech picks up speed as she talks about seeing plenty of
'friendly' faces in the crowd.

"My mom has a lot of family about an hour-and-a-half away, and I'm
sure some of them will be there," said Kuethe. "It will be good to
see some U-High volleyball fans there, too."

When Kuethe was a senior at U-High, she led the Pioneers to the IHSA
Tournament finals at Redbird Arena.

Kuethe appreciates the opportunity to play against old friends, old
rivals and old club volleyball teammates in the tournament. As a prep
player, she frequently faced-off against Illinois State's Kabbes
(Central Catholic) and Erin Jones (Normal Community), as well as
Florida State setter Jennifer Anderson (Olympia). Jones was her club
volleyball teammate with Quack Attack and Illinois Juniors.

"I can't wait to run out of that tunnel into Redbird Arena. I'm
really looking forward to playing against Erin and Jenny and Jen
Anderson," said Kuethe. "That makes it that much more exciting."

Kuethe got a call from Jones early last week.

"We aren't in school yet, but ISU is, so we talked a little bit about
school," said Kuethe. "We didn't talk about volleyball. We don't have
to. We know it will be intense when we're out there against each
other. I can't wait. It will be war on the court."

Perhaps the most exciting thing for Kuethe is feeling healthy. Last
year, she was limited in what she could do in practice. This year,
she feels like it's 'full speed ahead' under new coach Mitch Jacobs.

"Last year, I could play on the weekends, but pretty much couldn't do
much during the week," said Kuethe. "Now, I feel good. I think our
team has made the transition to coach Jacobs. He has a lot of
energy."

And Heidi Kuethe is all about energy.