Volleydogs senior Katelyn Rickert helps her team score from the sidelines.
By Mike Beas
Brownsburg High School’s Katelyn Rickert (10) gets her team pumped up during warmups before the victory over rival Avon High School on Sept. 12. Rickert rarely plays but the senior could be named class valedictorian.
Photo by Rick Myers
Katelyn Rickert’s importance to the Brownsburg volleyball program isn’t measured by digs, floor burns or sets played.
The senior doesn’t start as the Bulldogs’ defensive specialist. During most matches she sits on the Brownsburg bench serving aces her team voicing instruction and encouragement from the sidelines.
Rickert’s unselfishness is one of the more unheralded aspects of Brownsburg winning seven of its first 10 matches this season.
“It is hard to have to watch other people play,” Rickert said. “But coach (Katie) Maples emphasizes that everyone has a role, and, for me, it’s being a leader off the court helping underclassmen and things like that. Volleyball is a team sport, and we have to help each other.”
Rickert was on the court for only 23 percent of the Bulldogs’ sets through their first 10 matches. She served up two aces in Brownsburg’s season-opening victory over Ben Davis and posted six digs in a loss to Hamilton Southeastern.
“She doesn’t hardly play at all,” said Maples, the first-year coach who starred for rival Avon during her playing days (2005-08) before playing at Purdue University. “We’ve got a really deep team, especially at her position, and you wouldn’t be able to tell during practices.”
“Katelyn works hard all of the time to make herself better. She does it all the time, and it’s very genuine. It’s very cool and a very unique thing.”
The example Rickert sets extends to the classroom. She’s the oldest of Brownsburg graduates Eric and Kelly (Kovaleski) Rickert’s three daughters. Katelyn carries a 4.5 grade point average, a mark that has her in contention to be valedictorian for the Class of 2020.
“I’m actually a very competitive person,” Rickert said. “I always want to push myself to be the best I can be and to be a leader.”
Rickert has yet to make a college choice but is interested in someday becoming a politician or corporate lawyer. She’s also involved in theater at Brownsburg. She landed the role of Mrs. White, one of the main characters, in last spring’s show “Clue on Stage.”
She’s been involved in theater since her freshman year and, like volleyball, thoroughly enjoys the environment. And though the senior has taken a likeness to acting, there is no script to follow when it comes to her role on the volleyball team. Every day is different, and Rickert does what she can to help the team succeed whether she’s on or off the court.
“Katelyn is truly a special student-athlete in how she approaches and embraces all that is thrown her way,” Maples said. “In living this way, she is such a strong leader and example of how to have drive paired with perspective. She is mature far beyond her years and an important part of our team by being just who she is.”