Athlete profile: Kasey Schlatter

Kasey Schlatter (SHLAW-ter) hails from a family with a strong and proud history of excellence in the field of intercollegiate athletics. Her father coached football and her mother led Portland State University volleyball to the 1984 NCAA Division II National Championship. Her older sister, Garyn, played volleyball and her younger brother, AJ, plays football at . . . Portland State University.

What caused her to buck the family trend and head to the Treasure State? “I knew I wanted to get out of Oregon. Between Montana State and Southern Utah, I knew more about this program. This school has the majors I like . . . and it kinda looked like home so it felt better to me,” Schlatter said.

The senior kinesiology major got the last laugh against Southern Utah this weekend, leading the team with 17 digs in their three set victory over the Thunderbirds. However, it almost wasn’t to be for the libero from Canby, Oregon. “[Montana State] offered me a scholarship my junior year [of high school]. Some things happened where they needed that money back . . . so I was kinda left without a school my junior year which is when most people commit,” Schlatter explained. Luckily, Montana State came calling back. “The coach here came back to me and said she liked how I played [and] found me some money. So in a roundabout way, I still got here.”

In Schlatter’s time on the Montana State volleyball team, she has played most of the positions on the volleyball floor. “I came in as a hitter/defensive specialist and two weeks into my freshman year here [during] preseason our setter went down with a concussion and I was the backup setter. So I had to learn to do that [and] started as a setter for 20 games.” In addition to serving as setter, Schlatter has played outside hitter, defensive specialist and libero.

With her success as a versatile player, she’s not shy on dispensing credit to those who got her where she is today. “One of my biggest influences was Macy Page [Former Bobcat volleyball player, who graduated in 2012]. She was great to me. I was in her position for some of the time . . . but she was always willing to help me. Her and Jennifer Lundquist [graduated in 2013] and Nicole Baker [graduated in 2013], because [they were] in my position. [Page] kinda took me in and helped me understand the role of the defensive specialist.”

With a challenging major and a challenging workout regime, what activity calms the star libero? “[I] paint my nails. I have this small obsession [for] which I blame our old assistant. If our’s weren’t done, she would make fun of us. So when I get stressed, even if I just did them, I’ll peel them off and do them again.” When that doesn’t work, Schlatter opens a book. “I recently got into reading; my mom reads all the time.” The last book she read was “‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ They’re good books! If you get past the [content].”

Following graduation this spring, Schlatter will find herself at a crossroads. “I would like to keep playing. I could go play in Europe . . . I’m a little too scared to do that but I might try to get into beach volleyball.” If volleyball doesn’t work out, “My goal is to go into occupational therapy, working with athletes that, say, have been paralyzed and are learning to just sit on their own.”

No matter what she chooses, Schlatter carries faith in herself, both figuratively and literally. Adorned on her left forearm is a tattoo in French that reads “Always keeps the faith,” the unofficial Schlatter family motto. “My Dad says that to us all the time . . . he puts it everywhere.” The reason for the French translation is “My grandma taught me French for a while; I used to be able to speak it.” The faith she speaks of applies both to a religious faith and a faith in herself. “I do get that question . . . and I just answer with ‘both,’” Schlatter explained. “I always say if you don’t have something to believe in, what is your purpose? I feel like you need a purpose for everything you do.”