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Cougars' Kadrmas is one kill away from 1,000 for her high school career

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Heart River senior Miranda Kadrmas, middle, splits Dickinson Trinity seniors Mariah Quintus, left, and Andrea Jirges on Oct. 18 at the South Heart High School gymnasium. Kadrmas, a hard-hitting middle, has rewritten the Cougars' record book this season.

Miranda Kadrmas isn't the type of person that wants the spotlight to shine on her.

But she sure packs a mean punch for the Heart River volleyball team.

"She's a humble kid," Heart River head coach Craig Pool said. "She doesn't really want that attention on her."

That attention had to be apparent coming into this season when Kadrmas was named one of the Cougars' captains.

"Now I have to be more of a vocal leader," Kadrmas said. "Last year, I just kind of left that up to the other girls."

After last Tuesday's game against Beulah, Kadrmas is one kill away from 1,000 for her career and she has broken multiple school records throughout her four-year career.

The records are signifying hard work instilled by older generations.

Some of the other records Kadrmas has are kills in a season, currently at 423. She broke her previous kill record of 375. Kadrmas also has 302 career blocks, 167 aces and a serve percentage of 89 percent.

"It means a lot to me," Kadrmas said. "I remember when I was younger, looking up at the board and seeing Ashlynn Evoniuk, who is now the JV coach, and Scoti Hutzenbiler. I looked up to those girls and watched the way they played."

Just as the Heart River senior looked up to Evoniuk and Hutzenbiler, younger athletes are sure to want to model themselves after Kadrmas.

"When one person sees another person working hard at a practice," Kadrmas said. "It just becomes a domino effect and eventually the best comes out in each other."

How important is Kadrmas to her team? In a match this year, she got so much attention from the defense that they covered her with more than two blockers.

"One team actually threw a triple block at her and she just tipped them crazy," Pool said.

Smart play on the court has also led to smart play off the court. Pool said Kadrmas is like another coach to the rest of her teammates.

"For me it's been great, because not only is she an excellent athlete, but she's a real great person," Pool said. "This is her first year being in the leadership position. She's done more as a captain than I've ever seen before."

Kadrmas' leadership role needed to be taken quickly with the departure of four seniors from last year's starting lineup.

"It was definitely big shoes to fill," Kadrmas said. "The girls got the job done. We didn't know quite how it was going to work out. We have a good team and it's even better than last year's."

One player who knows Kadrmas well is senior Quinn Steffan. The two hitters have been playing sports together since they were in the fifth grade and have been volleyball teammates throughout high school.

"It's a pretty good feeling," Steffan said. "Every time she gets a kill, it gets us all excited and we have a lot of with her on our team."

Teams have adjusted to Kadrmas on the floor, too.

While she gets most of the attention, the Cougars have a host of other hitters who can get the job done.

"Quinn and Brittney (Tift) are truly our secret weapons," Kadrmas said. "They (opposing teams) always have to be on guard."