Big hits, kicks and jumps
Only about three weeks remain before Highland High School graduate Emmy Nyquist moves on from the rigors of high school volleyball and basketball into the life of being a college student-athlete.
Nyquist, who graduated Highland in June, is heading north to Grinnell (Iowa) College to continue her athletic and academic career. At Grinnell, Nyquist will play both volleyball and basketball.
“I’m really excited (to be going there),” Nyquist said. “I just can’t wait to start, and I leave some time in the second or third week of August.”
In the fall, Nyquist visited the Grinnell campus and met with women’s volleyball coach Eric Ragan and some of the Pioneers players and got to see the campus and catch the volleyball team in action.
The visit to Grinnell helped swing Nyquist toward the Pioneers programs for her college career.
“I really like that they have an open curriculum and they have really great professors (there),” Nyquist said. “When they gave me the opportunity to play both volleyball and basketball, I couldn’t pass that up.”
Nyquist is leaning toward majoring in computer science at Grinnell.
In order to be fresher for the start of her freshman year, Nyquist eschewed playing with club teams in volleyball and basketball. She has been practicing and working out on her own during the summer and enjoying some free time.
“Both coaches sent me summer workout programs, and I have been trying my best to do those,” Nyquist said.
Her workouts have been focused on running, weight lifting, conditioning, and agility drills to get her ready for the grind of both sports.
On the volleyball court, Nyquist likely will play on the backline and continue to be a solid presence there with her defensive return and digging skills.
As a senior, Nyquist led the Lady Bulldogs in digs with 466, averaging 5.97 per game. She believes her volleyball skills will transfer well to the college level at Grinnell.
“I think it will be alright,” Nyquist said. “When I was on the Highland team we were pretty good all four of my years, so I think playing with some really talented girls in high school will definitely help me and hopefully help me be ready for college.”
In basketball, Nyquist is expected to challenge for playing time at either point guard or shooting guard. She averaged four assists per game in her senior season with Highland.
Highland girls basketball coach Clint Hamilton is confident Nyquist’s will make the transition to college basketball fairly easily.
“I honestly don’t know much about the Grinnel program, but I think she’s capable of coming and playing minutes for sure,” Hamilton said. “She’s not the most athletic kid but she makes up for that by being smarter, being in the right place and anticipating very well, and I think that will translate very well to the next level.”
As she heads into her first year at Grinnell, Nyquist is not really worried about minutes or time on the court with either team. Her biggest focus is on fitting in with her teammates in each sport.
“I’ve been talking to some girls from both team, and they all are really nice and they have a great team-like atmosphere, so I think it (playing with them) will be great,” Nyquist said.