Klauss finds time to star in two sports
Trinity junior Ashley Klauss picks up the ball after a bunt and throws to first base during a sectional semifinal softball game May 30 against Lyons Township at Triton College in River Grov. | Ryan Pagelow—Sun-Times Media
This Week Trinity
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
At OPRF Invite at Schiller Woods, 9 a.m.
At Fenwick Invite, 1 p.m.
At Resurrection, 6 p.m.
At Queen of Peace, 6 p.m.
Hosts St. Joseph, 6:30 p.m.
Hosts Mt. Assisi, Keystone Park, 4:15 p.m.
Hosts Loyola at Keystone Park, 3:45 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:32PM
These days it’s rare to find a top volleyball player on a team who does not play club in the offseason.
The demands of playing the sport at an elite level leave many girls playing year round. But while some club volleyball players are preparing for June’s national tournaments during a spring season, Trinity senior Ashley Klauss keeps pretty busy with her other sport.
Klauss, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, is the kills leader for the Blazers’ successful early start to their season, but Klauss only plays the sport during summer workouts and in the fall. Otherwise, Krauss is a first baseman-shortstop for Trinity’s highly ranked softball team.
Klauss was a starter for the Blazers’ Class 4A supersectional team, which lost to eventual state champion Marist 8-3 to end last season.
“I love both [sports] so much, Klauss said. “I even played basketball my freshman year, but now I like softball and volleyball.”
The Blazers (9-4, 3-1) lost for the first time Sept. 13 in the GCAC Red at St. Ignatius (8-4, 3-0). The Wolfpack won 25-23, 26-24, but Krauss had a team-high seven kills for Trinity.
It’s early, but Krauss leads Trinity with 84 kills entering Friday’s Maine East Invitational. Mikayla Leyden, a starter on the basketball team, is the Blazers’ next kills leader with 67. One thing Klauss has improved on is defense. She ranks second in team digs (79) behind Leyden, which is unusual for an outside hitter.
Junior setter Maddi Creaden, who plays club full-time, has been using Klauss as her favorite weapon on the outside, but basketball player Shannon McGinnis was effective running a back slide with Creaden from her middle hitter position.
“Ashley has been huge,” Creaden said. “For a while, we’ve been connecting. I know where she likes the ball and where she wants it.”
While Klauss, Leyden and McGinnis have gained notice in other sports besides volleyball, Blazers coach Katy Schabes has three starters who come from the club environment: sophomore libero Kameron Rouse, senior middle Jacqueline Kibir-Evans and Creaden. Leyden is the only four-year starter on the team.
When Klauss isn’t playing volleyball, she is usually wrapped up in the club softball season. She recently left the Illinois Bash to play with the Evanston Eclipse.
“I play [softball] every weekend and practice three to four days a week,” Klauss said. “It’s not that bad, during [summer] camp, I get used to it.”
Klauss played on the JV volleyball team as a freshman, but missed her sophomore year due to a broken elbow from softball. That experience led her to go out for her only season of club volleyball, but her focus returned to softball this past summer.
Schabes said Klauss hopes to play softball in college, but this season is proving that there might be a college future for her in volleyball as well.
“I feel lucky to have such a naturally talented player to work with,” Schabes said. “She continues to grow in confidence and knowledge of the game … I think she has doubted her talent and ability in the past and is now believing in herself and taking charge during matches. It is very rewarding to see her mature and take on a leadership role.” ~,.