and Kadie Rolfzen
have resumes most athletes only read about. And like the 18-year-old standouts of America's No. 1-ranked high school volleyball team
, their resumes are almost identical.
Almost in unison, they each point out that they are moving on to the University of Nebraska in less than
120 days. It's a daily countdown as they look forward to their next
step, one that means graduating early.
"It's the start of something new in our life," said Amber.
"We've been committed since eighth grade. We've been given this
opportunity, so why not. Otherwise, we would probably have graduated
with our class."
They agree they'll come back in May, walk with their class and be there for Honors Night.
the only difference between the two Papillion-LaVista South (Papillion, Neb.)
stars is that Kadie is 30 seconds older than Amber. But
Amber is quick to add that "parents always treat the younger one
"She's much more talkative and outgoing than I am,"
Kadie said. "Amber will talk to anyone, anytime. Not so much me. I talk
more on the court than off."
"I'm a girlie girl and Kadie is not," said Amber. "But once you get to know Kadie, she's just like me."
the court, Kadie likes to design things and hopes to eventually have a
career as a designer. Amber "loves reading and watching Harry Potter
." Her most-recently read book is The Hunger Games
Both insist there is no sibling rivalry.
"We're always there for one another," said Amber.
the person I look up to the most," said Kadie. "She's my twin, but we
do compete (with one another) on the court, not off."
there is no downside to being a twin, to which Amber added, "the only
downside is all the questions people ask us about being twins."
said, Papillion-LaVista South coach Gwen Egbert said "Kadie is more detail-oriented. And more focused. Amber is a little laid back and if she makes
a mistake, she shakes it off better (than Kadie)."
She adds, as
players they are very similar. "Kadie is a little better passer, Amber a
little better on defense. Kadie is a better attacker. Amber is more
disciplined on blocks. The differences are pretty small."
it's their strength, dominating frontline power, that has propelled them
to rank among America's elite young volleyball players. They insist,
however, they have a lot of work to do reach their goals.
"I just want to improve in everything I do, all parts of the game," said Amber.
Kadie wants to upgrade her mental game.
any player at their age, they need to improve technically, get stronger
mentally, communicate better when times are tough," Egbert said. "The
biggest stride they can make in going to the next level is being
consistent passing and being ready to play on defense. And they could
make huge stride as servers."
Playing internationally has helped elevate their game. It's played at a different level than club or high school volleyball.
said, "You must always be ready because the other team is so good, as
are your teammates. You always must be on your ‘A game' and you can
never take a play off. The game is faster."
Amber said she
realized in 2011 when they played for the USA Juniors in Turkey that
they felt like they always worked hard, "but once we got there we
realized we don't work as hard as we thought we did. We brought back all
our hard work and taught it to all the people who don't get that
experience. You just learn to work harder."
Egbert noticed a difference in their game.
boy ... wow. Obviously they were better players with the year behind
them," said Egbert, one of the most successful coaches in Nebraska prep
volleyball annals. "They were contacting the ball at a higher point,
were more consistent, and hitting the ball harder than before. Plus,
they were understanding the game better. They learned to focus at that
As expected, Papillion-LaVista South is off to an unbeaten start (7-0)
and the win streak is at 89. Though they aren't talking about it, the
goal is to go unbeaten a third year, win another state title and break
the Nebraska record for consecutive wins, held by Scotus at 115 straight.
before they get close, the Titans will play in a unique triangular
event at Creighton University that will involve two other outstanding
prep teams: No. 2 Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), and Torrey Pines (San Diego). The event is being staged by Prepvolleyball.com
with the goal of setting a high school attendance record for volleyball.
"We're very excited about it," said Amber. "You get better by playing better teams."
we play our best and lose, we play our best and we lose," said Kadie.
"It just means their better is better than our better. We know what
we'll have to do to win."
And they know they will be doing it together, almost identically, just as they have done since they entered the high school ranks.
As 15-year-old freshmen, both were selected Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year Finalists, named to the Omaha All-Metro Team and chosen to the Nebraska Class A All-Tournament Team. They also helped their team reach the Nebraska High School Class A state finals.
As 16-year old sophomores, they led the Nebraska Juniors to the 16-Open title at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships and were named all-tournament at the event. They helped Papillion-LaVista win the Nebraska Class A state championship with a 41-0 record and along the way were named Nebraska All-State First Team Class A and Nebraska Super State Team and, again, each received Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year recognition. Both were honored as MaxPreps All-Americans
As 17-year-old juniors, it was more of the same (All State, All-American and Gatorade recognition, etc.) and Papillion again went 41-0, grabbing another state title as well as earning
MaxPreps' National Champion bragging rights
The Rolfzens turned 18 last month in Nicaragua as members of the USA Junior Women's National team that finished third in Zone Competition and qualified for the 2013 Women's Junior World Championship (to be played in the Czech Republic).
They have a 3.97 GPA (weighted 4.5), red hair and stand 6-foot-3. Each was a basketball standout (point guard Kadie averaged 12 points per game and post Amber averaged double digits in rebounds). In track, Kadie finished second in the state 200 sprint finals and Amber earned a silver as a member of Papio's sprint relay team.
Their stats are almost identical: Kadie had 405 kills, 46 aces and 280 digs as a sophomore while Amber had 377 kills and 289 digs with 37 aces. As juniors, Kadie had 402 kills, 382 digs, 53 aces and Amber had 312 kills, 52 blocks, 289 digs.
The last time they lost a high school volleyball match was in the 2009 state finals — their freshman year. Since then they have won 89 straight. Their record in high school is 123 wins and five losses.
Not surprisingly, each committed to the University of Nebraska before
the start of their sterling high school careers. And they are identical with their Husker countdown and reasons for graduating early from Papillion-LaVista South.
"Obviously, it gives us a head start over the other freshmen (coming in July)," said Kadie. "With more reps and being in the program earlier, we should be better by July."Watch more videos of Papillion-LaVista South volleyball