Volleyball transfer comes home: Sydni Schetnan comes to Brookings after a season at Louisville

Natalie Dean, Reporter

After playing basketball and volleyball for the University of Louisville, freshman Sydni Schetnan has returned to her home state to join the Jackrabbit volleyball team.   

“I have a lot of family connections that drew me back to SDSU,” Schetnan, a Sioux Falls Washington graduate, said. “Only being an hour away from home was a really big thing.”

Schetnan’s seven family members are former Jackrabbit athletes. Her cousin Ellie Benson played volleyball, her uncle was on the football team and her aunt played basketball. Schetnan’s mom, Kim Schetnan, also played for the SDSU basketball team, bringing more meaning to Sydni’s decision to come back to South Dakota. 

“Being on the same court that she played on is a really cool thing,” Schetnan said. “I’m very excited to experience that.”

During her time with the Cardinals, Schetnan’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four in the 2021-2022 season. The volleyball team also advanced to the national title game in Omaha last season.

Schetnan had traveled to Omaha previously for club volleyball tournaments, but this was her first time traveling there to compete for a championship, an experience Schetnan said she will never forget.

While with the Cardinals, Schetnan enjoyed creating connections with her team. She gained a deeper relationship with her Jackrabbit teammates, and she looks forward to playing at SDSU for the next few years.

“I hope to have a much deeper connection with the girls here,” Schetnan said. “I’ll be playing with them for three years and hope to become really good friends with everyone.”

Once Schetnan came to SDSU, her Jackrabbit teammates were quick in making her feel a part of the team, and she has found it fun meeting everyone.

“I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job at getting to know everyone,” Schetnan said. “They are all welcoming and they’ve been amazing.”

The Jackrabbits have started their spring season, where they started with eight hours each week and now are training twenty hours a week. The spring season began at the beginning of March with away tournaments on the weekends.

Teammate Annalee Ventling-Brown said that she and Schetnan are locker neighbors, and that she has enjoyed getting to know Schetnan through practices and going out to dinner.

“She got here and she gelled really well with the team,” Ventling-Brown said. “It was pretty easy to get to know her and be good teammates and friends with her.”

The Jackrabbit volleyball program has been growing for the past three years, and two of their main goals are to bring home a Summit League championship and to play in December at the NCAA Tournament.

The volleyball team accomplished many of its team goals this past season. They had a seven-game winning streak, were invited to play in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), and were the last team out of the Summit League schools to still be playing into December.

“To bring in a transfer who has been to the final four in both basketball and volleyball and seen that championship experience is big,” Jacks coach Dan Georgalas said. “Sydni’s edition to what we already have coming and built on the team matches up really well.” 

It has been evident that Schetnan not only loves competing and playing volleyball but also has joy playing on the court and has proved to be a strong player.

“She doesn’t really do things half-speed,” Georgalas said. “You can tell she likes to go all out, and that matches our gym culture.”

Teammate Masa Scheierman has enjoyed getting to know Schetnan and said that Schetnan can help the Jackrabbit team reach their goals because of her past championship experiences and her athleticism in being an outside and right-side hitter.  

“Physically, she’s probably going to be one of the tallest girls in the Summit League,” Scheierman said. “That presence is going to be helpful, especially at the net and blocking-wise.”

Though Schetnan was a two-sport athlete in Louisville, she plans to just focus on volleyball for the time being and has high hopes to help the team accomplish its goals.

“I really hope to bring a Summit League championship to SDSU volleyball,” Schetnan said. “I feel like that is something they have been working towards and that we can accomplish.”