Egan has the skills for kills

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Egan has the skills for kills

Aaron Viner Courier Staff

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Cait Egan was recently approved for membership in an exclusive club.

The Western Illinois senior volleyball player struck down her 1000th kill on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in a match against DePaul.

“It feels amazing … it’s a goal that every (volleyball player) has in the back of their head,” Egan said.

Leathernecks’ head volleyball coach Kym McKay said she is impressed with the way in which Egan reached the milestone, particularly considering the number of players that have come and gone during Egan’s time with the team.

“Of the four players that I’ve coached who have reached the 1,000-kill club, she’s the only one who has had a different setter every year,” McKay said. “The others had the same setters for (the) majority of their careers.”

McKay has long been a fan of the work ethic Egan possesses, which has much do with Egan reaching the statistical milestone.

“I had seen (Egan) in her (high school) junior year in February (then) went back in March and she had blown her ACL out,” McKay said.

“(But) come June, I still hadn’t found (another player to recruit), and I was still thinking about (Egan). I talked to her club coach, and everything she said talked about her work ethic and how quickly she would be back because of how hard she worked.”

Egan said she attributes her competitive drive to her mother and father. “My parents told me it doesn’t matter how good you are at something,” Egan said. “If you have a work ethic, anything is possible. I just came from a background that puts hard work over everything.”

Originally Egan was a basketball player, but she now can’t imagine herself playing anything else but volleyball.

“I was very bad at basketball,” Egan said, laughing, “but then I had some really influential club coaches that drove me to get really involved in volleyball, and I really liked it. I love the feel of blocking the ball and getting kills.

“I’m definitely a volleyball girl for sure.”

Egan’s work ethic has rubbed off on the rest of the Leathernecks.

“Cait’s been a huge influence for me and everybody on the team, on and off the court,” said junior teammate Bridget Murphy. “She’s the hardest worker I’ve ever played with. She goes out every practice, every game, and gives it her all.

Egan leads the Leathernecks this season with 68 blocks and is averaging 3.23 points per set.

She is also one of four players – along with teammates Katie Hosteng, Ann Miller and Samantha Fournier – that is averaging over 2 kills per set.

McKay said she has taken notice of Egan’s leadership abilities. “I think Cait does a good job of making those around her comfortable,” the veteran Leathernecks coach said.

“She has a caring nature to her, and whether you’re a freshman, or in her class as a senior, she’s going to have a caring attitude.”

That being said, it is Egan’s final season as a Leatherneck; she won’t be around for spring practice, and McKay knows that things just won’t be the same.

“(Cait’s) been a good leader for our middles to look up to,” McKay said, “and that’s something we are going to miss in the gym in the spring … having an upperclassman who can balance that genuine caring for their teammates to get better, but also that competitiveness.”

Egan said she is still trying to determine her postseason plans.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Egan said. “I know for a fact that I’ve got 13 other girls who are best friends from this season. They’ve been so supportive these past four years, but I’m going to have so much time, and I’m going to want to play volleyball.”

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