Name: Katherine NiesenNickname: Kit

Sport: Volleyball

Position: Middle blocker

Hometown: Gainesville, Fla.

High School: Eastside

School/Year: COL ’09

ajor: Government and English

High School Career: Four-year varsity athlete. Was named third team all-state in 2005. Also competed in track & field and placed third in the high jump as a junior.

Georgetown Career: Led the team in blocks as a freshman with 107. Finished third in kills and second in blocks as a sophomore. Tallied 215 kills and 108 blocks as a junior. Last weekend at the Carolina Classic, Niesen earned all-tournament honors for registering 23 kills and seven blocks to lead Georgetown to a 1-2 record.

When did you first start playing volleyball? I first started when I was 14. It was ninth grade. I walked into biology class and my teacher said, “Hey, you’re tall. Why don’t you come play volleyball?”

Did you fall in love with it right away? As a tall kid they put you as middle, which is probably the worst position in the world. So it took a while, but after the first couple of seasons I definitely enjoyed it a lot more.

Who on the team do you rely on the most? [Senior setter] Caitlin Boland. She is my fellow senior and we’ve been through three years together. Everything she does is kind of like second nature to me. I feel like we have a good relationship – she’s my setter.

Who is the team joker? Tori [Rezin, a freshman libero]. Although a lot of people don’t know it, I think she’s going to be the joker.

Any superstitions? I knock on wood a lot, and I cross a lot of things. Like my fingers and my toes and my arms when someone is serving for a big point – not when I’m playing!

Favorite athlete? Rex Grossman [a Chicago Bears quarterback]. I had a big crush on him. I was a fan when he was at Florida, but I’m still a fan. I know he choked his first couple of years in Chicago, but I think he’s improved a lot.

What is the one thing you miss most about home? The sun. It doesn’t come out here a lot.

Best moment in your career so far? The St. John’s game last year. I had a big block and a big point, and we took a game from them. They ended up doing really well last year.

Freshman residence hall? Harbin. I liked it. Harbin 5 – we were the ones that set off the fire alarm every time it went off.

Favorite movie? “Forrest Gump.”

Favorite escape from Georgetown? My house. It’s not really an escape from Georgetown, but it’s removed enough. It’s nice to get off campus.

Who do you live with? Other girls on the team – Kiersten [McKoy], Courtney [Cohen] and Caitlin [Boland] . so maybe I’m not that far removed.

Favorite Georgetown restaurant? That Ethiopian place down on M Street – Zed’s.

Greatest inspiration? My family.

Booey’s or Wiseys? Definitely Wisey’s. We have Booey’s at every tournament.

– Photo by Molly Jones, interview by Kevin Wessel.

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