Heading into this season, University of South Dakota volleyball player Kendall Kritenbrink was chasing history. Nine matches into her junior year, she became the eighth Coyote hitter to eclipse 1,000 career kills.
"It's exciting and rewarding, but I couldn't have done it without Tori and my teammates," Kritenbrink said. "I had no idea it was coming, so it's kind of nice to not know those things, and just keep working towards more."
Kritenbrink is now 390 kills short of the all-time kills mark at USD. She's not just chasing the record, but her sister, Kristin, who is second on the Yotes kill chart.
"It's definitely a little motivation knowing my sister is ahead of me," she said. "I'd love to put the Kritenbrink name up at the top."
"Kendall is our workhorse," USD Head Coach Matt Houk said. "If she was a basketball player, she'd be the one jacking up 25-30 shots a game. Our very first match against Gonzaga her freshman year in Wyoming, she went out and had 21, 22 kills right away. She established herself as a freshman as a go to player."
Kritenbrink isn't the only player reaching milestones this season. In her ascent to becoming one of the best hitters in South Dakota history, senior setter Tori Kroll has been there very step of the way. Kroll has been powering Kritenbrink and the Coyote attack one assist at a time and is now the program's all-time assist leader.
"One of my roommates told me because she's kept records this year. I don't like to know that stuff because then I feel pressure," Kroll said. "I knew it in the back of my mind, and it was nice finally to get."
"She's an amazing setter," Kritenbrink said. "The best I've ever had in my life. I always trust her."
Kroll has dished out more than 3,800 assists since starting as a freshman and is on pace to be the first Coyote setter to tally more than 4,000 assists in her career.
"I knew she had the potential to be one of the best to come through here," Houk said. "It was on her shoulders to go make plays and make things happen."
Kritenbrink and Kroll will take the court again Thursday when they battle 7th-ranked Hawaii at the Wichita State tournament.
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