Louise Kooiman’s love for volleyball began in the fifth grade, where playing for her elementary school inspired her to take her game to the next level.
“My two coaches (in elementary school)…they were a huge impact on me,” says Kooiman. “They really got me to start loving the sport.”
By the seventh grade, Kooiman had joined a club volleyball team, and now is in her senior year as a Royal at Rosary Academy. Whether she plays outside hitter, middle blocker or opposite, Kooiman is ready to contribute.
“As long as I’m on the court, I just love playing…and representing what Rosary’s all about,” says Kooiman. “Having fun and playing hard in every match I play in.”
Rosary’s head volleyball coach, Filip Tomicic, looks to the four-year varsity player and team captain to have a strong influence on her teammates.
“Louise is a very focused, engaged and skilled player and is a well respected, positive role model for her teammates,” says Tomicic. “I frequently hear her complementing and encouraging the other players during practices and games. I look forward to watching her many successes on the court this season.”
Kooiman’s latest step in her volleyball career has been to take her skills from the court to the sand, making the transition to beach volleyball just last year. While she will still compete for Rosary’s indoor team this season, the 17-year-old has been part of an effort to help establish beach volleyball on her campus.
“We wanted to bring beach volleyball to the girls at Rosary,” says Kooiman. “The girls who maybe don’t want to play indoor anymore, we wanted to give them another chance, and look to continue what we love doing.”
Away from athletics, Kooiman is a confirmation leader at St. Juliana’s as well as the treasurer for Rosary’s ASL club. The Fullerton resident has a passion for American Sign Language and a heart for the deaf community and would like to pursue a minor in sign language alongside studying either education or sports medicine.
Kooiman also hopes to be playing beach volleyball in college, but will miss her teammates and representing the Royals.
“Being a student athlete has really shaped me,” says Kooiman. “I think the one thing that I’ve definitely learned is that sometimes you can’t always do things yourself. You need to rely on other people. My team has helped me realize that.”
Kooiman acknowledges that faith is a significant part of her life, and is thankful for the opportunity to share that bond among her teammates. She views both her family and her peers as her biggest motivators.
“They have really helped to guide me and support me throughout my journey and have been such great role models and set good examples,” says Kooiman. “Do what you love. That will get you where you want to be in life.”