Paulsen looks forward to strong senior season
Incoming AHSTW Senior and multi-sport athlete Saydi Paulsen is excited for her senior season when she’ll be playing volleyball, basketball and soccer.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Paulsen said. “We have a lot of girls working really hard this summer, and it’s great to see everyone willing to step out of their comfort zone, so I’m really excited to leave everything I have on the court and give it all for my team.”
During her junior season in volleyball, Paulsen had three assists, 104 kills, and had a serve efficiency rate of 96.1%, tied for the highest with teammate Grace Porter.
She played 24 basketball games, scoring 113 points with six blocks, 21 steals, 26 assists and 111 rebounds. She helped her team to a 9-win season, winning the Class 2A – Region 8 First Round Tournament game Feb. 11 against the Missouri Valley Lady Reds.
In soccer, Paulsen played goalie where she had 104 saves with a 75.9% save rate. Among all those sports, Paulsen has a favorite.
“Basketball is my favorite,” she said. “We had such a good group of girls. I really love working for them.”
Paulsen credited her teammates, both past and present that have been on this journey with her.
“I have a really great group of senior girls,” she added. “We just grow closer every year and our bond gets stronger. Our communication, we’re so on point with each other. We know what the other person is thinking.”
Paulsen is led by strong coaches in Jill Vanderhoof, Beth Herbst and Kelsey Muxfeldt.
“All three of them are always there for me,” Paulsen said. “They’re always telling me on the court and off the court how to be a better leader and a better person. They’re always teaching me a skill that I can use, and they want us become better as people and they’re good role models.”
Even with one more season to go and more memories to be made, Paulsen still has fond memories that stick out from prior seasons with her teammates.
“After a win or even a loss, knowing that we did good and having those good highlights of that game or season to celebrate on is my favorite part,” Paulsen said. “Knowing that everyone did the best that they could and we all did what we worked so hard for.”
Paulsen credits her mom and dad, along with her three sisters, for being a good supporting cast throughout her sporting endeavors.
“Ever since we were young, my mom and dad were athletic as well, so they’ve pushed sports every since we were younger,” Paulsen added. “We played on a lot of the same teams, and to have my family there supporting me and wanting me to do better and telling me how to get better has been such a huge impact on me, and it’s amazing to feel all their love and support.”
Following the conclusion of her high school days, Paulsen hopes to leave behind a great legacy for the future of AHSTW sports.
“I hope to leave behind a good environment,” she said. “I want everyone to be able to have fun on the team and you shouldn’t have to be embarrassed to want to do better or you shouldn’t care what other people think. You just want to go out there, do your best and have fun while doing it. That’s the most important thing.”