Hello, My Name Is: Courtney Sommer and Aaliyah Krenn

The Columbus Catholic pair are enjoying their final season of volleyball by having the most fun they can
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Practice can get to be a grind for high school athletes, balancing their sport with a full schedule of classes. However, for Columbus Catholic seniors Courtney Sommer and Aaliyah Krenn, every practice is another opportunity to hang out.

“We like to make fun of each other, for things that we’ve done in the past just embarrassing moments or whatever,” said Sommer.

The pair have been playing volleyball together for seven years, both in school and in club. After playing with one another for that long a period of time, even the miscues are nothing to sweat.

“She’ll be like, ‘I’m so sorry I set that bad like I’ll get it on for you or I’ll get it off for you,” said Krenn. “We just kind of know already.”

Sommer is the team’s setter, having reached the 1,000-assist milestone earlier this season. Krenn leads the team in kills as an outside hitter. The duo knows how to have fun on the court, but they also know how to compete, leaning on their strong chemistry.

“We just play a lot together,” said Sommer. “We play club together and just trusting her, knowing that she’s there to get a kill helps me when I set.”

”We just have that connection on the court because of our closeness outside of volleyball too,” said Krenn.

The chemistry is evident in the Dons’ play this season. Columbus Catholic is ranked number one in D-4, having only lost one match all season. For some teams, it can take a while to build team chemistry. Sommer says it came naturally for their group.

“I think we’ve bonded very well together and are playing as a team really early on in the season,” said Sommer. “Most teams it takes a little bit. With the younger kids coming up, it’s just really nice to see everyone blend together.”

Even with the early success, Krenn feels the team has their best volleyball on the horizon.

“I think we can take it to another level still,” said Krenn. “I’m excited to see that for sure.”

The Dons have had some tough losses to end their season recently. Last year, the Dons fell in a five-set thriller to Assumption on their home floor in the Regional Final. In 2021, the Dons fell in the Sectional Final. The losses are hard to process, but they also serve as further motivation for Sommer and the seniors.

“Losing in the past couple of years has been hard and playing with Aaliyah has just like brought me to want to go farther,” said Sommer. “Especially with her, knowing that we’ve been playing together for a while and wanting to have that end goal that we can talk about even after our season.”

Krenn says the Dons’ ultimate goal is a trip to state. However, until then, she and Sommer are going to do what they’ve always done; have the most fun they can.

“It’s kind of sad,” said Krenn. “It’s our last year together after seven. We’re going to try and make the most of it, and have some fun with it.