Morris star commits to Illini
Kaylin Korte, a sophomore outside hitter from Morris High School, has verbally committed to the Illinois volleyball team.
The 6-foot Korte led the Redskins in kills and ranked second in digs last fall during her first full season on the varsity team.
“She is a firecracker, always full of energy,” Morris coach Jackie Litwiller said Tuesday. “She’s the go-to person (for us) on the court. She is the one you want her to get as many touches on the ball as possible.”
Korte also had an offer from Loyola and was being followed by, among others, the Michigan and Northwestern staffs.
However, she decided not to delay her decision any longer after visiting the UI campus this spring and learning how highly regarded she was by Illini coach Kevin Hambly.
Korte said her coach at Joliet-based UNO Volleyball Club told her that Hambly had indicated he ranks her among the top three outside hitters in the nation in the Class of 2016.
“It’s awesome the feeling you get when a collegiate coach says that about you,” Korte said Tuesday. “I think it’s really important that he saw my potential. It just made me really excited because not every coach has said that about me.”
Her campus visit cinched the decision,
“Obviously, I want to go for volleyball, but I have to look at it in the bigger picture,” Korte said. “I fell in love with the whole
academic (program), everything outside of volleyball as well. It actually was really easy for me to commit.”
Korte is the second sophomore to pledge to Hambly’s program.
Last October, Class of 2016 outside hitter Jackie Quade of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll committed to Illinois.
After playing several matches for Morris’ varsity late in her freshman season, Korte emerged in 2013 as a leader for a
19-15-1 Redskins team that reached the Class 3A regional finals before barely losing to eventual state runner-up LaSalle-Peru 25-9, 25-27, 28-26.
“I think it was my job to step up because I was a starting outside hitter,” Korte said. “I took it as my responsibility to be a leader on the court.”
Korte was one of two sophomores selected to The Joliet Herald-News’ 25-player All-Area team after hitting nearly .400 last season while recording 246 kills.
“She can read the court very well, which as a sophomore, that’s huge for the varsity level,” Litwiller said. “She’s very good with ball placement, and that was a big part of her having success with kills.
“She also can jump like no other. She can get up over the block.”
The All-Northern Illinois Big 12 East first-teamer also played a major role for the Redskins in the back row, finishing the season with 3.6 digs per set.
“She likes to play defense,” Litwiller said. “We kind of moved her around (as needed) in the back row. Up or down, she’s leading.
“She’s just one of those players that you don’t get very often, that you know she is going to do something special” at the next level.
On the way
A list of Illinois volleyball recruits who have orally committed:
Class of 2015
NAME, HIGH SCHOOL POS.
Alison Bastianelli, Marysville, Mich. MB
Jordyn Poulter, Centennial (Colo.) Eaglecrest S
Beth Prince, Avon (Ind.) OH
Class of 2016
Kaylin Korte, Morris OH
Jackie Quade, Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Carroll OH