Many high school athletes have aspirations to go to a Division I school playing their favorite sport, but not many have the ability to go to the highest league in multiple sports.
Andi Kreiling, a sophomore middle blocker in volleyball, had aspirations of playing two sports in her college career. Kreiling had a successful career as a high school swimmer, where she won races, awards and a state championship.
"My entire life I have been swimming. My mom called me a 'water baby,'" Kreiling said.
Kreiling's athletic career did not start with just swimming, she had early experiences with volleyball starting in fifth grade, playing against boys and girls in a recreational league.
"I started getting really serious about it when I was 13 years old. None of the teams really wanted me; I had no ball control and was just super lanky," Kreiling said.
As Kreiling grew as a volleyball player, new opportunities within the sport opened. Kreiling was offered and took a spot on No. 21 KC Power, a club team.
Kreiling was placed on the all-district, all-conference and all-state teams for 2019 and 2020. In 2021, she was ranked No. 108 by PrepVolleyball's list of the top 150 volleyball players that year.
Kreiling met a fellow ASU volleyball teammate in Jaden Ravnsborg, a sophomore libero at ASU, who played on the same KC Power team.
"Andi was always the goofiest person off the court but when she was on the court she was full of energy. She wanted everyone to work hard," Ravnsborg said. "She pushed everyone and it transferred really well over to ASU. I live with her now and it's a great connection off the court. When we are on the court she is on and she is focused."
While playing competitive volleyball, Kreiling was still swimming. The former swimmer's high school career allowed her to become recognizable throughout the community and within the sport.
"I swam all throughout high school. My junior year, I stopped swimming because I wanted to focus on volleyball but I also realized how much I missed the sport," Kreiling said.
Throughout her dual-sport experience, Kreiling had to compete at the highest levels of both volleyball and swim at the same time. Friends, family and even former teammates were excited about Kreiling's talent for swimming, especially during high stake events.
"She was the biggest swimmer and our club team was a huge supporter. I remember one day at practice we all dressed up as swimmers because she was going to state swim. We were always her biggest supporters when she was not at volleyball," Ravnsborg said.
Her love of the sport coupled with her fleeting competition years at the high school level led Kreiling to return to swimming her senior year and become a champion for her school and state.
As Kreiling's high school career came to a close, she made the decision to take her passion for volleyball to the next level and leave the world of competitive swimming. Volleyball Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic took an interest in Kreiling's playing ability, but it was her personality that sealed the deal.
"Once we started talking to her, we saw she was very lovable and very likable," Tomasevic said. "So the longer we talked to her, and the more we watched her, we thought 'OK this is a kid we want in our program.'"
Kreiling's friendly personality is not the only reason why she was recruited.
"In the classroom, she is a bookworm so I am trying to talk to her and teach her to be as academic about volleyball as she is about school," Tomasevic said about Kreiling who is studying biomedical sciences and hopes to go to medical school.
Kreiling was drawn to ASU by Tomasevic and the successful volleyball program, but her visit to campus, where she always feels like she's on vacation, fully convinced her.
Kreiling has made many appearances within the 2022 season most notably during the University of Evansville game with eight kills and five blocks, both career-high stats.
Kreiling and the Sun Devils return to Tempe on Friday when they take on UCLA at 7 p.m. MST.
Kreiling is still content with the choice to continue her volleyball career after playing at ASU for two years.
"I always had a love for both of those sports but I figured that if I am going to do something in college and contribute all of my time towards one thing, I'd rather it be volleyball than swimming," Kreiling said. "I really liked the team aspect of volleyball and I feel like I have a second family now."
Edited by Kathryn Field, Piper Hansen and Grace Copperthite.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com.