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    Ex-CCC star Zschau becomes pro, Force to be reckoned with

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published June 9, 2002

    From recreational to club, high school and college volleyball, Kim Zschau has enjoyed a stellar career.

    Zschau (pronounced Schow) completed her second year as a pro player. This past season, she competed with the Grand Rapids Force in the inaugural U.S. Professional Volleyball League.

    From the time she started playing in the seventh grade and following the footsteps of her older sister, Kristen, Zschau has devoted herself to learning the sport.

    "I actually started playing just for fun because my sister played," Zschau said. "Then, as I got more involved, I found I really liked it."

    Zschau liked it so much and played so well that she was named the 1995 Pinellas County Player of the Year her senior season at Clearwater Central Catholic. A full scholarship to Kansas State University produced history-making results for the outside hitter.

    Zschau started every game in four years with the Wildcats and was a unanimous All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection as a senior. She is among four K-State players to record more than 1,000 kills (1,646) and 1,000 digs (1,578) in a career.

    "I chose Kansas State after going on a recruiting trip," Zschau said. "The coach, the team and the whole school were terrific. It was the right choice for me." After her 1999 graduation, Zschau wanted to continue playing. But there were no opportunities in the United States, which led her to Spain for a season of pro experience. Last year, Zschau was invited to train with the U.S. National Team, hoping to make it to the Olympics.

    "It was while I was with the National Team that the pro league was formed," she said. "Since I was on the National Team, I didn't have to try out and was chosen for the Grand Rapids team. Training began in December, and the (matches) were from February to April." "I had seen Kim in 2001 on the National Team and liked what I saw," Force coach Andrew Epperly said.

    "Kim has an invaluable work ethic. I've never known anyone that worked as hard as she does and comes ready to practice and play every day," he said. "It was a treat to have her on the team this season."

    Zschau twice produced a season-high 13 kills. SOFTBALL: Georgia Southern pitcher Crystal Crews (Countryside) was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. She hit .307 and logged a school-record 10 home runs. On the mound, Crews was 11-9 with a 1.98 ERA. ... Army senior outfielder Nicki Robbins (Seminole) was awarded the Army Athletic Association Trophy. She owns nine career school records. ... Florida Atlantic senior Nikki Myers (St. Petersburg) received All-American recognition for the second consecutive year. The pitcher was a second-team selection after finishing the season tied for the most wins (36) in the nation. FOOTBALL: Kipp Vickers (Tarpon Springs/Miami) was signed by the Washington Redskins for the second time in his career. Vickers, who turned pro in 1993, was with the 'Skins from 1998-2000. He was an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens the past two seasons.

    BASEBALL: Outfielder Patrick Boyd (Clearwater Central Catholic/Clemson) is batting .284 for the Savannah Sand Gnats. ... Clint Chrysler (Boca Ciega/Stetson) is pitching for Pittsburgh's AA Altoona team in the Eastern League. He's 2-0 and has a 4.09 ERA. ... Catcher Chris Heintz (Countryside/USF) is hitting .286 for St. Louis' AA New Haven squad in the Eastern League. ... Casey Kotchman (Seminole) is batting .275 for Anaheim's Cedar Rapids A club in the Midwest League. ... Joe Jiannetti (St. Petersburg/Daytona Beach CC) has been promoted to the New York Mets' AA Binghamton team in the Eastern League.

    SOCCER: Geoff Peattie (Countryside) completed a four-year career at Lynn University and was named the Scholar Athlete of the Year. ... Monica Lovett (Tarpon Springs/

    Northwestern State) played goalkeeper for St. Thomas. TRACK: USF sophomore high jumper Jimmy Baxter (Boca Ciega) placed 13th in the NCAA Championships with a performance of 6 feet, 103/4 inches. The 2001 All-American has a personal best of 7-41/2.

    -- News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 445-4119; e-mailed to or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, Fla. 33756. Please include phone number.

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