Gopher Spotlight: Sophomore Karlie Hauer

Go Gophers! Karlie Hauer
Go Gophers!
Karlie Hauer
Go Gophers!

Oct. 7, 2013

Sophomore outside/right side hitter Karlie Hauer has been an integral member of the Gophers. The Andover, Minn., native made a big jump last year when she came into the 2012 NCAA Regional Final match against Penn State for an injured player. In her sophomore campaign, Hauer has seen action in 27 sets, averages 1.74 kills per set and has added 40 digs this season. Here's a short question/answer session with the Gopher sophomore.

Q: What led you to your decision in attending the University of Minnesota?
A: I really wanted to go someplace close to home and Minnesota is the only Division I school. I was fortunate to have them recruit me. I also knew I wanted to go to a big university with great academics so I lucked out. I just loved the program Minnesota has going here.

Q: You’re in your second year with Minnesota. How big of an adjustment was it going from high school to the collegiate level?
A: High school was a lot different, mostly because there, whoever you have at your school is who you’re playing with and so sometimes they aren’t as dedicated or committed as players are here at college. I’ve loved the transition because everyone here is fighting and loves what they do so much. It’s been great to be surrounded by a group that all have the same goal as you do.

Q: Over the past two years, there are times you’ve had to come in as a sub or fill in for injury. As a player, how do you prepare for that role?
A: When I came into the game at NCAAs against Penn State last year, it was definitely scary to say the least. In practice, I just imagine that I’m playing in a game or that I have gone in for someone and now every time I get subbed in or if someone gets hurt, I don’t feel like it’s a big deal anymore. I have to be ready to go and I know that I have to go out there and contribute and help the team out in any way that I can. I feel like I’m able to do that with more confidence now.

Q: Now that you’ve gone through a year, what advice do you have for the newcomers who are adjusting to college volleyball?
A: Going from high school and club where you’ve played all the time and coming here, you may have that role coming in as a sub. It’s hard at first, but at the end of the day, it’s not about you, it’s about the team. Once you figure out what your place is here and how you can add value every day, no matter what your role is on the team, it seems a lot more important. You feel like you are making a difference on this team, whether it’s on the court, in practice, you’re here to help the team in any way you possibly can. 

Q: Minnesota has had to play in tournaments where you play four teams, where as in conference play, two matches per week. Talk about the excitement of getting into Big Ten play.
A: Tournament play can be draining at times. You’re playing two matches per day for two days, which also includes video meetings and homework. On Big Ten game days, the atmosphere is a lot different because you’re focused the whole day and everyone’s getting really excited. I feel like the intensity is so much more because there’s one game that you have to focus on and one opponent and have a lot of time to focus on the game plan and what we need to do to win the next point, rather than think about four games.

Q: You live with other volleyball team members in Morgan Bohl, Karyn Israel and Kalysta White. What’s the best story you can share from the apartment?

A: So far, it’s been a lot of fun. I know some may get sick of their teammates at times, but I love going home and seeing those guys. We also live above Tori and Ashley, which is a lot of fun. We recently got three dwarf hamsters. Morgan is not the biggest fan of them, but Karyn, Kaylsta and I love them. We do some stupid things like paint pictures one day and have movie nights. I think we’ve built really good relationships with each other and I love living with them.

Q: Have you declared a major or anything you’re interested in yet?
A: I haven’t declared one yet and I think I change my mind almost every day. Currently, I’m thinking of majoring in elementary education or secondary education. It was kinesiology and it might change back, I’m not really sure. It gets frustrating at times for our academic advisors because I change my mind so often, but I think I’m close to making a decision.