Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Prairie High School alum Krystin Uhlenkott is headed to Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., to play college volleyball.
As of Thursday, August 18, 2016
COTTONWOOD Among the many aspects of her athletic ability, Krystin Uhlenkott’s ability to jump high and spike hard stands out in hindsight — not only for how that skill made her one of setter Hailey Danly’s go-to girls, but also for propelling her all the way to Pendleton, Ore.
She’s heading to Blue Mountain Community College on a volleyball scholarship this fall — not only for the chance to continue in sports, but also to start down the path toward a physical therapy career.
“I’ll get my science classes out of the way there,” she said.
She’s bouncing back from a knee injury — and the physical therapy she received for that, “helped me want to go into that field,” she said. “The physical therapist I had, Jamie Scheffler, was awesome.”
The injury sidelined her for much of her senior season, but “all of my coaches were so supportive, and it was great to be able to be with my teammates and cheer them on.”
As part of back-to-back state volleyball championships, Uhlenkott helped take PHS to the very top for the first time in school history during her junior year.
She was part of state title teams in other sports during her time at Prairie, but at Blue Mountain, she’ll be focused on volleyball.
Her recruiting process involved creating a highlight film, getting recommendation letters from school officials, and sending them out to “like 50 different colleges.”
“I had heard about this college from someone I played club volleyball wtih, and the coach was one of the first to call me back,” she said. “At the beginning of my senior year, I decided that’s where I want to go.”
Her parents and the broader Pirates sports community have been important supporters along the way.
“My mom was my coach when I was little,” she said. “My parents took me to all of my club games in Spokane and Seattle and everywhere. I don’t think they ever missed a single game.”
She credited volleyball coach Cheyenne Hudson — who “always pushed me to be top notch, because she knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
She also credited basketball coach Lori Mader who taught her to “always be going 100 percent no matter what” and track coach Ryan Hasselstrom for being encouraging.