Faith Christian senior Michal Schuler always wanted to play volleyball at the Division I level, working in earnest to get better thanks to her talented siblings.
Schuler’s talent earned her 30 college offers from a variety of schools at different levels. Ultimately, it was through a referral from one school to another that the Faith standout is now a verbal commit to Iowa State University.
During a summer camp at Eastland High School, Winona State coach Joe Detzin left thoroughly
impressed by Schuler. Instead of trying to recruit her to the Division II school, Detzin contacted Iowa State coach Christy Johnson-Lynch about a possible recruit.
Johnson-Lynch contacted Schuler, came to a practice at Faith, and offered a chance for the senior to visit Ames.
“I went on the visit to Iowa State a couple weeks ago, and was blown away,” Schuler said. “The campus was amazing, the coaches
and players were great, and being only 4 hours from home is really nice.”
Schuler helped Faith to a 38-3 record this season, including a runner-up finish at the National Christian Schools Athletic Association Tounament on Oct. 27. She had 108 kills, 13 aces and 12 blocks despite playing through injury.
The Falcons won the Northern Illinois Christian Conference Tournament on Oct. 13, and placed second at the Association of Christian Schools International tournament in Sycamore a week later.
Schuler also helped Faith to first place at the Rockford Fire Tournament on Sept. 8, and a 6-0 record Sept. 15 at the Pathway Tournament.
Aside from her illustrious career for the Falcons, it was her experience with Sterling’s No Limits club volleyball program that did wonders for her recruitment. Schuler spent 4 years as a star player for coaches Jim and Kelsey Pierce.
“That’s where I got the recognition, like going to play on the team at nationals,” Schuler said. “Also, my coaches and brothers have helped me get better on the court and in the weight room.”
Michal will follow in the Division I footsteps of her older sister Tressa, who is wrapping up her career at Grand Canyon University. Tressa spent her first 2 college years starring at Sauk Valley Community College, while Michal intends to spend all 4 years at the Division I level.
“Being home-schooled for most of my life, the thought of transferring to college was always a little scary,” Michal Schuler said. “But she’s made a good path and showed a good example for me. She’s accomplished a lot, and has inspired me.”
In addition to her talent, Faith Christian coach Jodi Kielsmeier noted Michal Schuler’s devotion to the sport in the form of learning and studying the game. The character and unity in the Falcons program has also helped in Schuler’s development.
“I think in this case, our program has been able to build on the love of volleyball like the Schuler family has,” Kielsmeier said. “Those girls played volleyball against their brothers, and the boys didn’t take it easy on them. They have experience of playing against fast, high-level competition their whole lives, which has built a solid foundation, in addition to the athleticism that runs in their family.”
Iowa State had a 78-39 record the previous four seasons, going 44-22 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones are currently 12-13, (5-7 Big 12) this year, on the heels of a 22-7 campaign in 2017.