Heeter sets Panthers' school record

NAPPANEE — Earning a place in the NorthWood High School volleyball record book wasn’t on senior Kaci Heeter’s mind. But on Aug. 28, Heeter did just that by becoming the program’s all-time leader in career assists.
“I wasn’t ever really thinking about setting a school record,” Heeter said. “When I was told I set it, I was kind of shocked. I was happy and excited. It’s cool.”
At the Prairie Heights Invitational, Heeter eclipsed the previous mark of 2,741 assists held by 2007 graduate Casey Bough.
“My dad (junior varsity coach Mark Heeter) told me before the season that I was close, and I had no idea,” Heeter said. “When I did it, it was kind of a relief.”
Heeter’s athletic exploits run year-round. While playing club volleyball in the summer, she goes straight into varsity volleyball in the fall, to basketball in the winter and finally to tennis in the spring. Along with academic work, it’s a packed schedule.
“Playing three sports is tough on my body, but I like being active and it helps me manage my time,” Heeter said. “It makes me a lot more responsible.”
The 5-foot-7 Heeter got a lot out of playing club volleyball, for a team based out of Warsaw.
“It’s fun to travel and play against girls I don’t know,” Heeter said. “I get to play with girls from other schools, so it’s nice to get to know them and have fun. I like it a lot.”
Second-year NorthWood volleyball coach Hilary Rebber has noticed a competitive fire in Heeter which sparks her tireless work ethic.
“Kaci brings a lot of leadership to our team,” Rebber said. “She’s a setter, but defensively she’s involved in every play. She also leads us in digs and aces, so she brings a lot of leadership and statistical leadership. With everything she does, she was still at every workout this summer, which is more than a lot of girls.”
With NorthWood at 9-5 entering this week, Heeter believes the team’s best volleyball lies ahead.
“We played a lot of tough teams at the beginning of the year, but we’re slowly getting better,” Heeter said. “We have 11 seniors on the team, so it’s nice that we’ve all grown up and played together. We have great chemistry, now we just have to focus on winning games, especially against the good teams.”
After graduation next spring, Heeter would like to pursue a career in either marine biology or psychology.
“It’s kind of up in the air right now,” Heeter said. “I’m just keeping my options open.”