A leader on and off the court, a 3.98 G.P.A, the holder of six school records and on her way to three more this season. A co-captain and Academic All-conference selection the last three seasons. And she's married.
That's part of the Janelle Veith story.
The 5-foot-10-inch senior from Spokane, Wash, has been busy since signing on to play at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the spring of 1997 after a two-sport career in high school.
Head Volleyball coach Kim Lauwers believes that she's grown immeasurably since her freshman season, establishing herself as a role model in the process.
You think coach?
“She's definitely been a hard worker,” Lauwers says. “Whatever aspect of her game you ask her to improve, she does.”
Lauwers is also quick to praise Veith on her leadership ability. She says it's more action-based than vocal.
Veith, in her well-thought-out manner, agrees with her coaches assessment, but is quick to add that “if it comes down to it, I'll talk to a teammate.”
Veith says her success is based on her competitiveness and determination, something most athletes point to when asked in front of reporters. But for some reason you believe her. Maybe it's the fact that she's soft-spoken and nice to everyone.
“Everybody respects her leadership,” Lauwers says. “But when she's just talking to you, making conversation, she's the same person.”
When asked about her coaches comments Veith brushes them off like a weak bump.
“It's not about the respect, which is nice,” she says. “It's more that I made a difference and tried to make my team better.”
After completing her student teaching in Florida over the spring semester, “My husband (Ryan Veith) is getting stationed (in the Air Force) there, so it just worked out,” Veith looks to take a break from volleyball and put her elementary education degree, earned after Spring 2002, to work.
“She's always smiling… we'll miss that,” Lauwers says. “Her loyalty and commitment to the program, going in she was very confident, which we'll definitely miss.”
Veith will miss volleyball as well, but after getting the chance to play and start for four years, she figures her time was well spent and has only a couple goals left to attain.
“Sure I'd like to go to Nationals,” Veith says. “But each year the game has slowed, and I've made some great friends, which makes it all worth while.”
For all of the people who know her, Janelle Veith has been more than a teammate. She's been a role model, someone who you could look to for a bearing on how to handle the college experience.
With her “aw-schucks” smile and killer instincts on the volleyball court, Veith has set a standard for excellence and ability at setter for the Seawolves.
Kasey Kuelper is the incumbent, something Veith and Lauwers think is a sound decision.
“She unselfishly filled the d.s.(defensive-specialist) for us this season and we're working on preparing her for the offense,” Lauwers says.
“She'll do a great job next year,” Veith says. “She's improved a lot when you add in her two years of experience.”
Lauwers is planning on bringing in a freshman setter as well, and you can only hope she'll be remembered as well and well-received as Veith.