By Ashley Coto, Staff Writer
International student Anna Kital from Eckernfoerde, Germany leaves her mark on the volleyball as Hofstra University's RS/MB hitter, but the game leaves its imprint on her too.
The freshman student-athlete was born on October 21, 1991, and it took only seven short years to find her passion in life. At the age of seven she started playing club volleyball and has since made it a way of life. She also experimented with soccer, but found that volleyball was her forté and she took that direction in life.
"I used to be a very poor student," said Kital. "I just didn't care." Halfway through high school, her attitude changed. She realized that if she wanted a successful future in which she could still enjoy volleyball, she would have to excel in her book work as well. Ironically enough, at the end of her senior year she graduated as salutatorian from Thor Heyerdahl Gymnasium High School. Her success did not come all that easy.
"We don't have high school sport teams in Germany," Kital said. "If you played a sport it was through a club league." This posed a great difficulty in her role as a student. "The hardest part about keeping volleyball a part of my life was the time management."
"I was the youngest one on the team, the only one in high school. Since the other girls were in college, and some were even graduates, they had more time than me." But the hard work and the dedication soon paid off. Kital was offered admission into Schwerin, a boarding school in Germany with the country's top volleyball players. However, she rejected attendance. Her fate at Hofstra was an unexpected one.
"In 2008, I was part of an exchange program and I had the opportunity to go to America or New Zealand. I said I never wanted to go to America, so I chose New Zealand. I never imagined I'd end up here." Some of the alarming differences to her, other than the language and culture, were people's interests.
"It seems that in Germany people enjoy being outdoors more, we are almost more active whereas here people prefer to be indoors like going to the movies." In Germany Kital liked going to the beach, hanging out with friends and enjoying her family. Even in America, her favorite food is still pasta, and her preferred music is reggae. Beside the country, her best memory was on the volleyball court.
"There was one team where all the top players from Germany were on. They were known as the best; undefeated streak, everything. It was the day that my team had to play them and… we won! It was amazing! That day all of our hard work had paid off." Kital has a constant reminder of this rewarding day to provide her with inspirational motivation.
"I got this tattoo after we won. It's meaningful in many ways. It lets me remember a day I was proudest, and it's motivation not to give up, because hard work will be rewarded. Even on the days I want to give up most, this tattoo reminds me." While volleyball may be just a sport to some, it is a way of life for Anna Kital. Aside from playing the game volleyball has shaped her attitudes and philosophies on life.
"It's taught me that I have to be physically and mentally strong. And most importantly, it's taught me that I am never alone. I have my teammates supporting me, wherever I am, in whatever I'm doing. For instance, even though I'm a hitter, and I shine in the game, I could never do it with out my setter and the rest of my team setting the ball for me."