It is quite clear how much Camdenton senior Karli Wolfe loves the game of volleyball.

It is quite clear how much Camdenton senior Karli Wolfe loves the game of volleyball.

A tear in her ACL and meniscus derailed and took away her entire junior season, but she is now getting that missed season back and more after signing with Central Methodist University on Friday with family, friends, teammates and coaches in attendance.

“I never thought that with me tearing my ACL and meniscus last year that I would get the opportunity to go to college and actually get money for it to play volleyball,” Wolfe said of her future. “It means the world to me.

“I wanted to do it forever since I was little and I know you have to really love a sport to continue to get hurt constantly. I broke my foot, I’ve done so many things and my sister has screws in her foot so you have to love the sport to keep pursuing it.”

Athletics, and especially volleyball, have always been a central part of Wolfe’s life. Whether it was mom putting a ball in her hands or the opportunity to play with her older sister Jordan, a 2017 Camdenton graduate, she was not ready to close the door on that future and remained determined to return to the court. The journey of her recovery took nine months and she spent three of those months on crutches, but she was playing once again for the Lakers this past fall.

“I had to have really good faith last year to make sure I could go from where I was,” Wolfe said of the process.

“I want to thank my parents because they helped me a lot and my coaches have told me I could always do everything. I just want to thank everyone for that... It was a long, long recovery.”

Wolfe made her arduous return to the court his past fall for the Lakers and finished the year with 61 kills and 31 blocks. On one night against Hillcrest she put up seven kills with a hitting percentage of .700.

“It is a true testament to her hard work sitting out for a year and having to come back and try to put yourself back in there and play again,” Camdenton coach Austin Walker said. “She worked super hard to make that her goal and at the beginning of the year she just told me, ‘I want to play in college and this is what I want to do so I am going to work hard enough to do it,’ and she did. Had we had her for four years I think it would have been a totally different Karli, but she knows she has some stuff to work on. She is willing to do that and that is just who Karli is.”

Walker went on to describe Karli as a quiet leader, but a “pleaser” who holds herself accountable. The coach mentioned how she was well-liked and coachable and the best part is that the senior will be joining her older sister Jordan at the NAIA school in Fayette, Mo. Wolfe could play outside or middle hitter for the Eagles.

“It is super exciting any time you get a kid to go play somewhere in the college level. It is a good thing for our program and especially for a kid like Karli who missed her entire junior season,” the coach noted. “To see her come back and make an impact, to get where she wanted to be, that has always been her goal and I’m really excited for them. Especially that she gets to be with her sister. It will be a neat experience for both of them.

“Big, tall girls, long arms and a typical volleyball build. I think it is going to be so fun.”

The opportunity to play with older sister obviously played a factor in Karli’s college decision but she also mentioned her faith as a Christian, the academics and the coaching staff. Karli was recently awarded All-State honors in academics for volleyball and is involved with numerous activities at Camdenton such as National Honors Society and the A-Plus Program while serving as Student Council Class President. She intends to study interior design and business.

“The volleyball team is very high in academics and that is something you don’t always find in sports when you see people go to college for sports,” she pointed out. “Sometimes you need to have that and I’m very big on the academics so it helps that I can play sports and have my academics, knowing both will be secure.”

Of course, she is looking forward to reuniting with older sister.

“I never knew if I wanted to play against her or with her because it is fun whenever you get to block your sister or get a kill against her,” Karli said. “That is fun because I got to do that in high school, but I am excited to have her with me to help me through the journey of my freshman year.”

Jordan, who has also spent time with the volleyball program at Columbia College, is excited to have that opportunity as well as she enters her senior season and will be glad to return the favor of those kills and blocks. She provided some insight on what her younger sister signed up for.

“It is definitely a different game from high school. It is definitely faster and she is going to have to work 10 times harder than she did in high school because it is a different game and a lot more competition,” she noted.

Central Methodist volleyball assistant Devin Walker is certainly excited to have both.

“For those who know Karli Wolfe, you know she is a hard worker and her dedication and determination has brought her to new heights in athletics and academics,” the assistant said. “Not many student athletes get to contribute to the same collegiate program as an older sibling. The Wolfe family will leave an everlasting legacy at CMU as they have with Camdenton.”

Whatever the future holds, Karli will not forget where she came from and how she reached this point. She said she is glad to say she will always be a Laker and offered some advice to her fellow Lakers.

“No matter what happens in life, don’t let anything get you down because even when you get hurt you can always get back up.”

One does not have to look any further than her own journey to see just that.