Ivette Muzquiz doesn’t need any help keeping a full schedule. On top of her volleyball season, the Kouts senior competes on the Fillies soccer squad, works at “The Depot” ice cream parlor, and studies hard enough to make straight A’s in school. Muzquiz says she hopes her involvements outside of school help her set a good example for younger volleyball teammates.
“As a leader,” Muzquiz said, “I think I have to be a role model not only on the court but off the court. I need to be someone my team can look towards for help, advice, or just spirit.”
Last season Muzquiz was the only returning player on the court from the previous year’s starting lineup. Kouts volleyball coach Karyl VanDyke believes Muzquiz has since made great strides in her leadership abilities.
“Last year was our first year playing with little experience,” VanDyke said, “and Ivette was the only one left from the team the year before. She is definitely our number one leader. When we lost our starters last year, she was the lone woman and she was forced to be the leader, whether she wanted to or not.”
VanDyke says Muzquiz’s average height often tricks her competitors into underestimating her ability at the net. With a .248 hitting percentage in Porter County Conference play last year, Muzquiz proved to be a threat as an outside hitter.
“Ivette is good for being involved in every play,” VanDyke said, “whether she touches the ball or not. Her serves are also tough to return. Ivette plays all the way around right now. We had a unique situation because last year we needed her to play all the way around. We’re in a rebuilding year right now, but she’s definitely going to be an outside hitter for me. That’s her number one role.”
Muzquiz has been on the Kouts volleyball squad since her freshman year, and began to play full-time on varsity during her sophomore season. According to Muzquiz, one of her greatest challenges has been stepping into the leadership roles that were left empty after the rest of the 2011 starting lineup graduated.
“In the past I’ve always been used to looking up to someone,” Muzquiz said, “and having someone tell me where to be and what to do. But now it is different having to do that (for other players) instead. Looking back on other people who have been able to help me has helped me transition into the leadership role.”
Muzquiz hopes to help her team make a run for the Porter County Conference and sectional championships. However, her goal for herself as an athlete this season is to “improve as a person.” She believes that her involvement in team sports will help her well beyond high school.
“When I did my job shadow for engineering,” she said, “the people there said that they always ask (interviewees) if they have played sports because it’s really important to them that (their employees) are team players.”
The Kouts outside hitter most enjoys volleyball for the competitive atmosphere and the bonds she shares with her teammates, and is most looking forward to making her senior season a special one.
“I just want to improve as a team,” she said. “I know last year we were a really young team and it was kind of like a fresh start for us, so I really want to be able to execute this year.”