BLUE EARTH - After four years of wearing the maroon-and-gold for the Blue Earth Area Bucs, senior middle hitter Krista Hassing officially signed her national letter of intent on Friday to continue her volleyball career for the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks next season.
Hassing becomes the first Buc volleyball player to play at the Division II level or higher since 1998, and the first player that Blue Earth Area mentor Donna Nawrocki has coached.
"I had narrowed down the decision to Winona State, Mankato and Augustana. As soon as I got on the campus though, I just felt like that is where I wanted to be," Hassing said in reference to the Mankato-based university.
NEXT STOP, MSU — Blue Earth Area senior middle hitter Krista Hassing (center) signs her national letter of intent on Friday to play volleyball for the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks next fall. Shawn and Sue Hassing watch as their daughter makes the signing official. Photo by Lacey Sawatzky/Faribault County Register
Along with her athletic future, MSU, Mankato also gives Hassing the opportunity to study nursing.
"I chose Mankato because of the coaches, the atmosphere and the academic programs that it offers," said Hassing.
"Krista is a great student and works hard both on and off the court," said Nawrocki. "She sets high goals for herself and is driven to meet them. She'll set new goals now."
The Blue Earth Area senior standout earned all-state honorable mention volleyball accolades this fall to cap an outstanding prep career.
Hassing also captured her second Sentinel All-Area player of the year award today. Hassing, who shared the 2012 award with Martin County West's Morgan Williamson, also claimed the honor in 2011.
Hassing also garnered all-South Central Conference volleyball honors this season in helping guide Blue Earth Area to the conference championship with a 9-1 record against league opponents.
Hassing's 284 career blocks puts her atop the Bucs' top 10 in the record books, along with 411 kills and 115 blocks - both single-season school records.
Buc fans will be grateful for the close proximity of Mankato, giving family and fans an opportunity to continue following her career.
"It has been a privilege to coach Krista. She is a great athlete and she will be missed," said Nawrocki.