Kaite Asche

Being a college student-athlete takes focus, dedication, passion, time management, skill and sacrifice. Being a two-sport athlete in college doubles the commitment. University of Wisconsin-Platteville sophomore Kaite Asche knows this well, just finishing her second year in the volleyball program and currently in her second season on the basketball team.

Asche excelled in volleyball, basketball and softball at Durand high school, while growing up on a bison farm in Pecatonica, Ill. “It is very unique growing up on a bison farm,” Asche said.

“Every time I tell someone it is very surprising to them. It is nothing crazy, but it is definitely different than cattle. You have to be a lot more cautious around the bison because they are not as friendly as cattle.”

Her time on the family farm helped her develop the work ethic and time management it took to be a multi-sport athlete while also excelling in the classroom. Asche was named to the 2018-19 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Scholastic Honor Roll in both volleyball and basketball while majoring in ag business with a minor in animal science.

“If you know Kaite, it would not surprise you that she can do both and still do well in the classroom,” head volleyball coach Samantha Birkicht said. “There are times I can tell she is overwhelmed by it all, but she always finds a way to figure it out.”

“I am not surprised that Kaite excels in both basketball and volleyball while also being successful in the classroom,” first-year head women’s basketball coach Kelly McNiff said. “I have only known Kaite for a short time, but her attitude and work ethic stand out, which is why she can balance the demands of being a two-sport athlete and good student.”

“I chose UW-Platteville because it felt like home and I was interested in the agriculture program,” Asche said. Asche labels herself as a ”home body” and understands that playing two sports would cut into her time to return home. “The campus had a little distance, but still close enough if I needed to go home, I could easily.”

Birkicht and the volleyball program recruited Asche, it was not her intentions to play both sports for the Pioneers. After her freshman volleyball season ended, she felt a void and realized how much she missed basketball, and she approached the basketball staff about joining the team and was welcomed to the team.   “Both teams are family away from home for me,” Asche stated. “I have many memoires with both teams, and made a lot of friends from playing both sports.”

Asche not only succeeded in the classroom, but she did it on the volleyball court as well. For the 2019 season, Asche was second in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in aces per a set (.39), seventh in blocks per set (.77), 12th in hitting percentage (.229), tenth in points per set (3.0), and 19th in kills per set (2.15).

“Since her freshman year, Kaite has been one of our strongest offensive forces,” Birkicht said. There were many times, when we needed to score we were trying to get the ball in her hands.”

Asche found herself on the volleyball court at the beginning of her freshman year, she played in all 32 matches and 115 of the 116 sets the Pioneers played.

“She is a very consistent player. Not only can she put the ball away which tends to bring electric momentum to our side of the court, but she also doesn’t make many unfocused mistakes,” Birkicht said. “As great as she has been these past two years, she still has a lot of room to grow, so I am excited to see how she leads our offense in the future.”

Once volleyball season is over, Asche begins to prepare for the upcoming basketball season. She played in 13 games for the Pioneer basketball team as a freshman. She scored a season-high six points at UW-Eau Claire and played a season-high 19 minutes against UW-Stout.

“Playing two sports, especially ones that overlap has been very challenging at times,” Asche said. “I have learned how to juggle two sports and school, while also being able to spend time with friends and relaxing when I need to.” Following her sophomore season, Asche was named to the WIAC honorable mention team.

The Pioneer basketball team opened the 2019-20 season Nov. 10th, eight days after the Pioneer volleyball team finished the 2019 season. Not up to basketball speed, Asche saw her first action in limited minutes in a 78-29 victory over Fontbonne on Nov. 15. Asche saw three minutes of action on Nov. 30 against Coe, since that game, Asche has played double digits in all but one game, including her first career start.

Asche arguably had her best game of her young basketball career as the Pioneers knocked off UW Oshkosh 69-65 in overtime. Asche had career-highs in minutes (30) and points (14). “Kaite brings a strong post-presence to our team,” McNiff said. “Combine the strength and finesse to her sneaky quickness, Kaite becomes a tough match-up for other teams.”

Despite her competitive side, she has a quietness going about her business. “Kaite is one of the humblest athletes I have ever worked with,” Birkicht said. “She may be quiet, but she is a very competitive player. She isn’t loud with her voice but you can see her intensity through her focus and actions.”

“Kaite is quiet, but you see that she is all business by her work ethic and how she attacks practice,” McNiff said. “She is very focused and asks the right questions, her teammates respect her. She attacks her studies and academics the same way.”

McNiff know what it takes to be a two-sport athlete, having played basketball and softball for the first two years at UW Oshkosh. “I played both basketball and softball my freshman and sophomore year,” McNiff said. “Going into my junior year I made the decision to just play basketball. It wasn’t an easy decision to give up softball, but it was the right choice for me. The demands are real, and it isn’t easy, but it can be done, and that is what Kaite is currently proving.”

Focused, passionate, competitive, and athletic. Words used by Asche’s head coaches to describe her as a student-athlete. All things you need to be a successful two-sport student-athlete in college.


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