Athlete Spotlight: Kaitlyn Hunt

Cricket Wright

Staff Writer

Parkland volleyball has created a tradition of success both on, and off, the court.  To make that success, it takes individual girls who are excellent players in their specific positions and pull that together to form a high-level team.  The uniquity of Kait, however, is that I can’t describe her simply as an outstanding back row player as that would be far too limiting in the description of Kait.  Simply stated, Kait’s a winner.  She’s a winner in matches, in practices and in the weight room.  She’s a winner in the classroom as well as in the community.  She’s a leader;  she’s a strong communicator;  she’s fearless.  She brings a lot of pride to the coaching staff as well as to Parkland College as a strong representative of what a Parkland athlete should be. –Cliff Hastings, Parkland College Volleyball Head Coach


Photo by Cricket Wright/Prospectus News

Photo by Cricket Wright/Prospectus News

For some students school is enough work. For Parkland Volleyball teammate Kaitlyn Hunt, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Hunt is not only one of the top players in the country for digs, but she is also a gymnastics teacher, full-time Nursing major, and still has time to help out the freshmen on her team. Hunt has played for Coach Cliff Hastings for six years now.

“I am very thankful for knowing him and having him teach me on and off the court,” Hunt remarked.

Hunt explained that it can sometimes be difficult to balance being an athlete and full time student, but said she tries not to procrastinate and manages her time so she’ll have enough for practice, games, school and homework. Hunt has also learned about respect and civility from her teammates. She learned from the sophomores that taught her, and now teaches the same principles to the freshmen this year.

Last year Hunt was very excited to play in the national championship game even though they lost.

“As a freshmen I was just happy to be there, but this year we want to win it all, and we feel we have a great chance,” Hunt said.

The team lost the championship game last year by two points in the final set. The team has a great chance this year, as they have been ranked number one for most of the season. They have had only two losses. One of the losses came against Illinois Central College, a conference team that knows Parkland very well.

When asked about the loss and if she was worried about playing ICC again, Hunt replied, “I hope we do get to play them again and avenge our loss, but I wouldn’t be mad if they got bumped out ahead of time either.”

“I am going to miss the bond of all the athletes here. I feel like I have made life-long friends and met a lot of good people,” Hunt reflected.

Hunt is planning on going to play volleyball for Eastern Illinois University after this season, but she wants to leave with a national championship under her belt first.


The information below is courtesy of the Parkland College Athletic Department

Kaitlyn Hunt
Class: Sophomore
Height: 5’2
Position: Defensive Specialist
High School: Monticello High School

Hometown: Monticello, IL

Freshman Year (2013): Played in all 55 matches and 178 sets as a freshman … led the Cobras in digs with 893 (ranked 6th in the country) … averaged 5.02 digs per set … double-digit digs in 46 out of 55 matches, including 16 matches with 20+ digs and 2 matches with 30+ digs … amassed a career high 34 digs in a five set match vs. DMACC … finished her freshman campaign with 25 assists and 43 aces.
Prior to Parkland: Three-year varsity player and two-year varsity starter … News-Gazette Honorable Mention All-Area (2011) … News-Gazette Second team All-Area (2012) … five-time All-Tournament team selection junior and senior years … only player to be unanimously chosen All-Conference (2011) … holds two volleyball records at Monticello High School – digs per season and career digs … defensive player of the year 2011 … played club volleyball with Prime Time Volleyball Club (2007-2012) … helped lead her team to the Championship of the 2013 Show Me National Qualifier as well qualified for the USAV Junior National Tournament.
Personal: Born March 29, 1995 … daughter of David and JoAnn Hunt … one brother (Matt) and one sister (Lindsey) … majoring in Biological Sciences.