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A Bolt prepares to become a Bulldog

Liberty High’s Gabbie Schroeder verbally commits to Drake

NORTH LIBERTY– She plans to become a Bulldog but first she has one more season as a Bolt.
Liberty High’s Gabbie Schroeder recently verbally committed to play volleyball for Drake University, joining teammate and 2021 commit Addie Schmierer. The 5-8 junior defensive specialist had 19 assists and one kill for the Lightning with 174 digs this season. Schroeder was also second on the team in ace serves with 31.
“I have been to Drake University many times for track and volleyball. I’ve always liked the feel of the campus. I love the culture of the program as well as the amazing coaching staff and team. It was very welcoming,” she said. Schroeder plans to study math education with a coaching endorsement.
“I also love that Drake is close to home so my friends and family can come to my games,” she noted.
She is excited to be a part of a competitive, high-level program, and to compete in a tough conference. The Bulldogs, an NCAA Division I program, compete in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Schroeder credits Iowa Rockets coaches David Rodgers and Stacey Ruff for helping her improve her skills and knowledge of the game.
“Playing in high-level tournaments helped my recruiting process,” she said. “I credit a lot of my success to my teammates. We play at a very high level and are constantly pushing each other to be better. Club has really helped my game for high school.”
She adeded, “I am so thankful for my coaches and teammates who pushed me to become a better person on and off the court. I’m also thankful for the support I receive from my family and friends. Can’t wait to be a Bulldog.”
Liberty’s varsity program is only in its fourth year but has two state tournament banners, earning the Class 5A state runner-up trophy earlier this month. Schroeder was a key part of both appearances and reflected on the craziness of the 2020 season.
“It was fun to watch our team develop as the season progressed,” she said. “At the beginning of the year, it was still unclear if we were even going to have a season. The thought of not being able to play together because of COVID-19 really motivated our team to stay healthy and make it to our goal, which was the state championship. The last few weeks of our season, our team chemistry was the best it has ever been. We were all playing for each other which made each win more rewarding.”
Liberty racked up 16 consecutive wins before falling, 3-1, to Ankeny in the state championship match.
As for having two state tournaments under her belt and making it to the 5A final, Schroeder said, “It was extra special to be a part of the first Liberty team to make it to a state championship.”
The best however, is yet to come.
“Next year, we have a lot of talent returning,” she said. “Our team believes in taking one game at a time. With the experience we gained at the state meet this year, I know we are very capable of returning and finishing even better than this year.”