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Chatten to play volleyball for Upper Iowa

Although about nine months had passed since she verbally committed to Upper Iowa University, making it official in November was still a relief for Katie Chatten.

"It's really exciting, and it's a lot less stressful now with that all being over," Chatten said. "I looked at other schools, but I liked Upper Iowa the best. The coaches were great. The coaches were really welcoming, and the team was really nice."

Chatten, a setter and Morris Community High School senior, was one of five players who signed national letters of intent with UIU volleyball on Nov. 19, according to a UIU press release. The others are Chelsea Berry, Kelsey Hinrichs, Miranda LeJeune and Alisha VanderWoude.

“Today is a special day for Upper Iowa volleyball. Adding these five young ladies is another positive step in building our program," UIU head coach Aaron Nelson said in the release.

"Their collective drive and competitive spirit will help us to continue growing as part of the toughest volleyball conference in the country. Along with their success on the court, they have all shown the ability and motivation to excel in the classroom. We are excited to have such well-rounded individuals join our family.”

LeJeune is a Plainfield South High School student who Chatten played two years of club volleyball with at Uno. Chatten now plays at Ultimate Volleyball Club.

"It's really exciting to have her going there too," Chatten said of LeJeune. "That will make it easier for rides there and back. We can switch off driving."

Chatten has set for the varsity Redskins at MCHS since she was a sophomore, and she expects to stay in the same position at UIU. She has, however, not always been a setter, and to Redskins coach Jackie Litwiller, the way she has taken to the position is reason to believe she will succeed at UIU.

"I think that Katie's hard work and desire will get her far. She proved that in high school, she began her career as an outside hitter. She wanted to be the varsity setter and worked extremely hard to get that position. She proved to everyone that she deserved that spot," Litwiller said.

"She was a great leader on and off the court who led by example. I will never forget during two-a-days when a freshman player asked her how she could still be smiling after running the mile and heading into circuits, and she said, 'Why not? I love volleyball.' She is a tremendous player who will keep pushing herself to be the best."

Chatten, who would like to possibly become a junior high math teacher, has been told that she will have the opportunity to win the starting setter spot at UIU as a freshman. She knows running the offense there will be different than running the offense of the Redskins, in which she totaled 1,497 assists during the past two seasons.

"I think it will be a quicker offense. It will be quicker than what we run on the high-school team," Chatten said. "I think club volleyball is about the same pace, so I think I'm prepared to do pretty well."

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