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Koprivas sign with Kirkwood volleyball

January 9, 2020
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

Cousins Katie and Takoa Kopriva have played volleyball together since elementary school on the playground to competing in the State tournament twice in their high school careers. On Tuesday, Jan. 7, the two best friends signed to continue playing the sport they love most together at Kirkwood Community College starting this fall.

"They told me one time early in their high school careers that they wanted to play college volleyball together," North Tama volleyball coach Channing Halstead said. "I think it's cool that they are actually getting to do that four years later. I'm very proud of them and happy to see them pursue their dream together."

Kirkwood volleyball head coach Jill Williams has watched the Kopriva cousins since junior high as she coached Takoa's older sister, Shayla, at Kirkwood. Both girls had played significant minutes since their freshman year of high school, allowing Williams to follow their careers over the years.

Article Photos

Takoa and Katie Kopriva with North Tama coach Karissa Kladivo, Kirkwood volleybll coach Jill Williams and North Tama head coach Channing Halstead at the signing on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

"Each of them brings a different type of athleticism," Williams said. "Takoa is quick, has a great read, and is the type of athlete who would run through a wall for you. Katie is crafty, has a heavy arm, yet can play in the back."

Takoa, North Tama's all-time leader in digs with 1,710 over four seasons, felt a connection with Kirkwood, with Williams and the campus upon her visit.

"My mom and both of my sisters went to Kirkwood and they absolutely loved it," Takoa said. "My sister, Shayla, played volleyball there. Since they all enjoyed it, I know I will too."

Katie, North Tama's all-time leader in kills with 1,315 over four seasons, enjoyed the fact that the community college provides class sizes similar to what North Tama offers and is excited to continue her career with her cousin by her side.

"I really enjoyed touring the campus and like the atmosphere," Katie said. "They have smaller class sizes that make you feel at home. Having my best friend with me will make it much more fun. Playing together at the collegiate level will make us even more competitive and help us improve our game."

Together with their senior class, the Koprivas helped lead the Redhawks to their two first State tournament berths in school history in 2017 and 2019, three consecutive Iowa Star South Conference titles and 98 wins from 2016 to 2019. Both athletes were consensus All-State by several Iowa publications and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.

"When they get to Kirkwood, I believe they will be surprised at what they can do," Halstead said. "Takoa is super athletic and got the recognition this year she has deserved when people realized the potential she has. She'll work on positions at the next level and I'm looking forward to seeing her make that transition. Katie will likely play a different role, but her ability to take over games will be huge in college. She'll flourish under a faster offense and people will underestimate her. I'm excited for her to go out there and prove them wrong."



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