WATERVILLE, Minn. (KEYC) — Waterville-Elysian-Morristown seniors Brielle Bartelt and Toryn Richards make their collegiate plans official after great consideration.
Bartelt will continue her basketball career with Iowa Lakes Community College and Richards with volleyball and track and field at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
“I think my main thing was being closer to home,” Richards said. “I do love family and just being closer to home helps. I know Mankato really well, I love their facilities, amazing facilities, I met the team, I love the team there, the coaches and I have an amazing connection.”
“It’s really stressful going through the recruitment process, I will have to say that, but I think the second I committed I felt relieved,” Bartelt stated. “It’s a huge opportunity to be able to play at the next level and I’m beyond excited to see what’s coming.”
As early as eighth grade, Bartelt made a name for herself on the WEM varsity girls’ basketball team by making plays, being a reliable scorer and, most importantly, being a leader.
“I think it’s just always tough because you’re always going to get those looks at you, but you’ve got to fight through it,” Bartelt commented. “Then, sophomore year I actually went through a set back, I had hurt my knee, I was out for 10 games straight. Came back strong, played the best I could. Then, onto my junior year we went to state. Most amazing feeling ever, I can’t even begin to tell how it went and everything. Junior year was one to remember and that’s what I’m trying to make happen for senior year.”
A similar early start for Richards on varsity volleyball, although she showed her versatility to eventually become an established outside hitter, all while climbing up the ranks in high jump and pole vault.
“You have to be confident in yourself and you have to trust yourself in the process. And, I think throughout those years I did and finally our junior year we finally made it past the section finals and we went to state and that was just an amazing feeling being able to do that with my team. We ended the year amazing this year for volleyball. We ended ranked number one in the state and we definitely pushed hard for that,” Richards recalled.