HARTINGTON - Pen to paper and it is official.
Cedar Catholic’s Maddie Wieseler verbally committed to Midland University as a junior last winter, and she was finally able to sign her Letter of Intent (LOI) on Friday afternoon to officially commit to the NAIA program that reached the national semifinals this past fall.
“It felt really good because a year is a long time to wait and it feels good to be officially a part of the team,” said Wieseler.
Wieseler joins a team filled with players from Nebraska, with only three girls from neighboring state Iowa.
Wieseler was one of three Midland commits that competed at the State volleyball tournament in November, with Bree Burtwistle from Stanton and Hope Leimbach of Lincoln Lutheran also joining the Warriors program.
Midland head coach Paul Giesselmann and assistant coach Nicole Venditte were in attendance for Wieseler’s signing. Giesselmann says it is always great to come to these signings by players.
“We are always excited to come out to the high schools and do the signings because a person like Maddie has worked four years to give herself the opportunity to play at the next level and we just feel it is an important day for them to be recognized.”
Wieseler said as a junior that part of why she picked Midland is because it allows her to stay as a hitter, her favorite position on the court. However, there were obviously factors off the court that weighed into her decision.
“I like how small the school is,” said Weiseler. “It feels like home. I felt really comfortable with everyone there, and everyone was very welcoming. It is just a very nice community.”
The Cedar senior is a two-time All-State volleyball player, and she has competed at State in volleyball, basketball and track and field. Giesselman mentioned how that experience on the big stage can be a huge advantage coming in as a college freshman.
“I think it is huge especially for someone like Maddie who we expect to contribute for us as a freshman,” said the Midland coach. “If you haven’t played in front of 2,000 people before it is just a different atmosphere, and our home court crowds are off the charts. It is unlike any other small college in the country really.”
Wieseler agrees that it will help that she has played in Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Bob Devaney Sports Center each of the past two years at state volleyball.
“It will help a lot because I will be used to that atmosphere and won’t freak out about it.”
Overall though, Wieseler seems relieved to have a college chosen and have that part of her high school senior year decided. She says now she can focus on basketball season, and in the spring focus on track while preparing with a club volleyball team for her jump to the collegiate level.
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