Jacobs junior Kassie Kasper impressed the North Carolina State women's volleyball staff during her first unofficial campus visit last July.
NC State, in turn, impressed Kasper during her second unofficial visit to Raleigh last weekend.
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Realizing she had found the right college fit, the 17-year old Algonquin resident called Wolfpack women's volleyball coach Bryan Bunn on Tuesday and accepted NC State's offer. The all-area libero will play two years as a preferred walk-on and two years on scholarship.
"I'm just so excited," said Kasper, a future Biology major who carries a 4.0 grade-point average. "I can't wait. I wish I could go there next year. I love the coaches, the team, the school, the program, the academics. It's the perfect package."
A three-year varsity starter at Jacobs who has trained at Sky-High Volleyball in Crystal Lake since the age of 10, Kasper finished the high school season with 321 digs, 52 aces and a 2.20 passer rating.
"I'm so happy for her," said Jacobs coach Lisa Dwyer, who also teaches Kasper's AP Calculus class. "She's so smart. And on the court she's like a little ghost. She's very vocal and has great leadership skills. The girl wants to win and works extremely hard because she always wants to do better."
Kasper took charge of her own recruitment. Last spring she contacted NC State assistant coach Pete Hoyer. He told her he already knew who she was because he had seen Kasper play for Sky-High. Hoyer invited her to NC State's summer camp in July, where she excelled. According to Kasper, Bunn took her aside at the end of the camp and said, 'There's a place for you here.'"
Kasper said she knew from the beginning NC State was the right place for her, though she also had interest from Yale and Dayton. She returned to Raleigh last weekend to get a better handle on the volleyball program and campus. She attended NC State matches against Virginia and Virginia Tech and met all the players. "I liked them all so much," she said. Kasper even sat in on a pre-match scouting session.
NC State's academics swayed her as much as the volleyball program. Unlike many teenagers Kasper knows exactly what she wants to do in the future.
"I want to go to grad school to be a physician's assistant, then become an orthopedic physician's assistant," she said. "I think there will be a lot of job opportunities in Raleigh because it's in the research triangle, so it's a perfect fit for what I want to do.
"I'm proud of my accomplishments. I have worked on my recruiting on my own, and now that this is done I can focus on the ACT, schoolwork, and my upcoming Sky High season. "