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Trinity of Excellence

Softball player yells in excitement after making a great catch as a teammate smiles behind her.
Sippel has started the year red hot at the plate for the Saints, hitting at a .400 clip. Photo: Jaclyn Duske

USF has always had a knack for producing some stellar student-athletes. The university’s cumulative GPA among its athletes for the 2023-2024 school year is sitting at an astounding 3.31, not to mention the countless number of athletic accolades that have been accured this year. However, sometimes there are student-athletes that simply seem to do everything at an inexplicably high level. Without a doubt, Kaylie Sippel has proven that she falls into that category.

Sippel is a member of the basketball, volleyball and softball teams here at USF. As if all of this is not enough, she is a remarkable student as well. In fact, Sippel earned the honor of being named to the 2023 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Women’s Volleyball Team as well as the NAIA Academic All-America Softball Second Team. Perfection has seemed to follow Sippel everywhere she has gone. She scored the fourth most points for the volleyball team this season, and currently holds a .404 batting average thus far in the softball season.

The obvious question is how does someone simply end up being the second ever three-sport athlete at St. Francis?

Sippel has played softball the longest, which is originally what she came to USF to play. However, she played volleyball throughout her youth as well and she worked one of the volleyball games here at USF.

The Southpaw started in all 31 matches for the Saints this year, and led the team in assists with 921. Photo: Jaclyn Duske

“It made me miss it so much, so I had a conversation with the coaches and they let me walk on. I had been sending recruiting videos to the volleyball coach during high school and nothing really had happened so she was sort of familiar with me already,” Sippel said.

“The rest is history.”

As for the basketball team, there were quite a lot of injuries this past season to say the least. The team was in desperate need of players during the dog days of the season and Sippel had previously played under one of USF’s current assistant coaches, Jimmy Copenhaver, in high school. Sippel was happy to help the cause and ended up landing a spot in a third USF athletic program.

It is nearly impossible to not be impressed by how well Sippel has managed to balance three athletic seasons and her biology major. It is one thing to balance a variety of priorities, but it is another to do them all at an extremely high level.

Sippel appeared in three games during her short tenure with the women's basketball program. Photo: Jaclyn Duske

“I am a huge perfectionist and I won't allow myself to not give 110% to whatever I am doing,” Sippel said. “I have gotten really good at scheduling my time and prioritizing what comes first and what can be done later. At the end of the day, I feel content with what I did because I know I tried my best.”

Sippel has certainly given 110% and more to everything she has done in her life. She has proven to be the type of person that wants to do everything and do it at a high level. One can only imagine how much this sort of workload drains an individual.

“I honestly do get burnt out,” Sippel admits. “College and college athletics are hard, and it's all about having a good support system and self-care habits. I'm busy, but I allow myself to take a lot of breaks and relax so I don't get burnt out that often. Sometimes, there are so many mandatory things that I can't help but get burnt out, but for me, in those situations, it's about looking forward to the next day off.”

Sippel has certainly earned every single one of her off days.

Sippel credits her support system for allowing her to find ways to manage such a loaded schedule, while pushing her to be the best she can be.

“My parents are so supportive,” Sippel said. “My dad, before I even got asked to play basketball, was begging me to ask to play, funnily enough. I don’t think I could take on all these things without them, so their support is really what’s keeping me going.”

Sippel deserves all of the recognition for everything she has done for USF athletics and the university as a whole. It is exceptional student-athletes like her that draw positive attention to the university and keep students enrolling and transferring to the university.

Although Sippel is finishing up her senior year, the USF community can still enjoy her extraordinary talents for a little while longer as she finishes her college career with the softball team this spring. Sippel’s legacy will undoubtedly be one that lasts within the USF community for years to come.

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