Athlete Spotlight: Kayla Gjerde

Bobbi Evers, contributor

Volleyball player Kayla Gjerde has reached 1,000 career kills during the 2022 season. Gjerde, a fifth-year senior, is one of five Augsburg athletes to ever reach this milestone. She has had a very successful career at Augsburg as an outside hitter. Gjerde received All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors for her performance in the 2019 and 2021 seasons, received American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region honors for the 2019 season and finished first overall on the team with 242 kills to end the 2021 season. 

When asked how it felt to achieve this accomplishment, Gjerde expressed gratitude. “It feels amazing to be one of the five Augsburg Athletes to reach 1000 kills. I feel very accomplished and I am very proud of myself for achieving that,” she said. “I am very grateful for all my teammates and coaches throughout the years. They all have had a big impact on my journey here at Augsburg.” Gjerde has put a tremendous amount of work into volleyball throughout her life. She has been involved with volleyball since the third grade, totalling around 14 years of involvement. “My older sister, Molly, was doing it and I wanted to try it, and I instantly fell in love with it. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to do a fifth year and get the full experience of playing at Augsburg,” said Gjerde.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic bringing all sports to a screeching halt, college athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility to continue playing their sports. Gjerde has taken full advantage of her extra year at Augsburg. When asked about the recognition she has received for her accomplishments, she once again expressed the utmost gratitude. “I feel very grateful to receive recognition. I am very grateful that I chose to come to Augsburg back in 2018 and was able to be a part of such an amazing community” 

Not only is Gjerde appreciative, but she puts in the work. She spends around 20 hours each week dedicated to volleyball, “whether that’s practice, games, lift, or watching film.” She is a graphic design major and has a job in addition to playing, making this achievement even more impressive. As Gjerde reaches the end of her final season here at Augsburg, we can only expect big things as she continues to work towards more achievements for herself and for her team. 

Augsburg volleyball has upcoming home games against Carleton on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and St. Scholastica on Saturday, Oct. 29. In both of these matchups, we can look forward to seeing what Gjerde and the rest of the team can bring to the table as they prepare for the conference playoffs.