Kailey Wente signs on at St. Ben’s

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On Tuesday, Apr. 4 Kailey Wente, Princeton volleyball’s senior libero, signed her letter of intent to play volleyball for the Blazers at the College of St. Benedict.
With her announcement, she became the fourth Princeton volleyball player, this year, to commit to a college volleyball program, joining Maddie Nierengarten, Sierra Mattson and Sonia Stay.
“These four girls are the first that have ever left my program to play at a higher level. I’m super excited and proud of them,” Princeton volleyball coach Mary Patnode said.
The four Tigers have all picked different colleges in the same conference, the MIAC, meaning they will play each other at least once a year.
“[It’s going to be] awesome. We’ll never play together again, but we’ll get to play against each other and I don’t think many people get to experience that, Wente said. “It will be fun playing against Maddie because I’ll be like, ‘I know where she hits.”
Even though she will be new rivals with her teammates Wente says she won’t forget her senior season with them, especially the bus rides.
“After a win everyone was just pumped and ready to go and we would sing,” Wente said. “And on the way to games we would set goals for ourselves and just get ready for the game…It was just the mental prep and hanging out with friends. It was the teammates that made everything amazing.”
Even though those bus rides came to an end after a 16-14 loss in the fifth set of a section-semifinal against Cambridge-Isanti, that game is still her favorite moment as a Princeton Tiger.
“We lost, but it was the most fun game we ever played. It still brings tears to my eyes,” Wente said, “We fought our hearts out and It just didn’t turn out in our favor, but everybody played their best game all season.”
Wente finished her senior season with a team-high 309 digs, 28 service aces and 31 assists.
“She’s one of those players that will do anything to get better,” Patnode said. “It showed in her senior year, how hard she worked at it.”
Wente will bring that hardworking attitude to St. Ben’s volleyball team. The Blazers play Augsburg, Maddie’s new team, on Sept. 8, in their third game of the 2017 season. Coach Patnode plans to attend.