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Staff members, teammates and family reflect on Gracie Van Driel's record-breaking career as a Rocket

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Gracie Van Driel hits a serve against Collegiate on September 4. Van Driel was a four-time all-state selection, three-time league MVP and two-time state champion.

Gracie Van Driel hits a serve against Collegiate on September 4. Van Driel was a four-time all-state selection, three-time league MVP and two-time state champion.

Gracie Van Driel hits a serve against Collegiate on September 4. Van Driel was a four-time all-state selection, three-time league MVP and two-time state champion.

Gracie Van Driel hits a serve against Collegiate on September 4. Van Driel was a four-time all-state selection, three-time league MVP and two-time state champion.

Kylie Gregory, Writer, The Rocket Press

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Gracie Van Driel won 139 games in her four-year career at Rose Hill High School, which featured two state titles, one other state tournament appearance, four all-state honors, three all-league most valuable player awards and a letter of intent to play at the University of Kansas.

These accolades are what make her one of the most decorated athletes to come out of RHHS.

To have the opportunity to attend any Division I school and participate as an athlete is a great accomplishment,” Rose Hill High School Athletic Director, Jim Linot, said.  “But it is also something that very few high school athletes are able to achieve no matter how big the school enrollment is. We have had a small percentage of our athletes that have been able to accomplish during my tenure as Athletic Director.  As you compare the numbers of Division I athletes in the state of Kansas to the number who participate that percentage is also very small. So it is a great accomplishment and something that she should be very proud of, and that as a school we are very proud of what she has achieved.”

Sydney Shelman, who is the longest tenured teacher at RHHS, said only Lacey Barnes, who played at Oklahoma, is on the same level as Van Driel.

“It’s been great watching her grow from her freshman year until now,” Shelman said. “She is one of the best volleyball players this school has ever seen.

Former head coach, Melissa Segovia, said Van Driel is a natural athlete, but worked extremely hard to become versatile in all aspects of her game.

“I was blessed to have the opportunity to have coached Gracie,” Segovia said. “She’s a tremendous athlete with so much to offer both on and off the court.”

In 2018, Van Driel led the Rockets to a 32-8 record, which concluded in pool play at the state tournament.

Current Rockets coach, Cherith Mock, was unavailable for comment.

Breckynn Myers, who has played with Van Driel for three years at RHHS, is looking forward to seeing Van Driel take her talents to Kansas, where she will be starting in the spring.

“We have made a lot of memories together,” Myers said. “ I can’t wait to see what she can do at KU.”

Van Driel’s mom, Susan, said she saw at an early age the potential in Gracie.

At an early age she would try and jump the height of the net and block the other team,” Susan said. “I am so proud to watch her play volleyball and can’t wait to see where her volleyball career goes.

About the Writer
Kylie Gregory, Staff Writer, The Rocket Press

Hi my name is Kylie, I like to play sports, write, and I LOVE to hang with family/friends. I play Football, Club Volleyball, and Cheer. I love to eat Pizza,...

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