Volleyball: Loos cannon lives up to legacy
Sterling senior continues family's athletic tradition
Mom was a college volleyball player, dad a college football player and track athlete. Her older brother is an NCAA Division I football player, one of her older sisters was a college athlete, and the other still is. Small wonder that Krista Loos is on the same path.
Loos led Sterling to a historic season, topping the Golden Warriors in kills and aces along the way to earn SVM’s 2012 volleyball player of the year recognition.
The Loos cannon unleashed a whopping 138 aces, 45 more than any other player in the Sauk Valley, averaging more than 2 per game. The senior captain also led Sterling in kills (315, 5 per game) and was second on the team in digs (213, 3.4 per game).
A 5-foot-10 outside hitter, Loos, a 4-year starter and the Northern Illinois Big 12 West’s MVP, was the focal point of the Warriors’ 34-3 season. The 34 wins were a school record and many of her stats were thought to be season and career school records, though that could not be confirmed.
Loos’ parents, Breck and Sheri, met in college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Breck, a Sterling native and Sterling High grad, went to Augustana College for 2 years before transferring to Stevens Point, where he met Sheri, who is from Rice Lake, Wis.
The oldest of the five Loos siblings, Shanna, 23, played volleyball and ran track at North Central College. Kaitlin, 22, is a senior at Olivet Nazarene University, where she is a member of the track team and played volleyball for 2 years.
Tyler was a starting offensive lineman at Northern Illinois University before breaking a leg during the Huskies’ 31-24 win over Toledo on Nov. 14.
“I guess there’s kind of a sibling rivalry,” Krista admitted. “We compete with each other. I wanted to play at the level they played at, and be as good as them.”
“She’s achieved as much or more than the others,” Breck Loos said of Krista and her siblings. “She’s made her own way. She’s an independent young lady. She works hard at what she wants to achieve. She learned by watching her siblings that you can’t be successful without hard work. That’s in sports and school, too.”
Kaitlin and Tyler were Roscoe Eades Award winners. The award is given to the top male and female athletes in the senior class at Sterling High. Krista would love to be the third recipient in her family.
“That would be nice,” she said. “Then they couldn’t look down on me.”
There’s also 14-year-old Megan, a freshman at Sterling High who plays volleyball and runs track.
Krista is an artist, on and off the volleyball court.
“I really like art and pottery,” she said. “I’m in AP [advanced placement] 3-D studio art. That’s probably my favorite class. I make a lot of my Christmas presents.”
On the court she expresses herself with her rocket-like hitting and her turbo sinker topspin serve.
She’s also a phenomenal leaper, with a vertical jump of some 28 inches, according to coach Dale Dykeman.
“You feel like you can count while she’s in the air,” Dykeman said. “After practice she would go upstairs and run on the treadmill. She’d run eight sets of stairs. She’d go through two carts swinging and two more serving. It was no accident that she was the player she became. It was through hard work, hustle and sweat that she became that player.”
Krista, also a high jump and hurdles standout, had her sports career flash before her eyes last track season when she suffered a knee injury.
“I hit the first hurdle and sprained my LCL [lateral collateral ligament], so I didn’t do hurdles the rest of the year,” she said. “I couldn’t jump either, so I just did sprints on the relays.
“I think I was most nervous because my brother had just tore his ACL [anterior cruciate ligament]. I was thinking, ‘What if that happened to me too.’ I was really scared.”
Krista, who plans on pursing a career in physical therapy, is keeping her options open in regard to her future.
“I’m not sure. I want to play volleyball in college, but I’m not sure where,” she said. “Hopefully an [NCAA Division-II] school.”
Krista’s impact figures to be felt for some time to come.
“At our banquet, one of our juniors [Darien Bardoner] said she wanted to be like Krista,” Dykeman said. “That speaks volumes. Krista left her a letter about stepping up and being a leader. That shows a lot of maturity.”
Is Krista a better player than her mother and sisters?
“I’m going to plead the fifth on that,” Sheri said.
Sheri harkened back to a moment years ago involving Krista’s early days in sports.
“I remember a coach when she was about 9 saying something like, ‘She doesn’t like to lose, does she?’ “ Sheri said. “She’s just always been pretty driven and competitive.”
Dad, Breck (played football and ran track in college, Augustana and University of Wisconsin-Stevens-Point)
Mom, Sheri (played college volleyball, UW-Stevens-Point)
Sister, Shanna (played volleyball and ran track in college, North Central)
Sister, Kaitlin (played volleyball and is running track in college, Olivet Nazarene)
Brother, Tyler (playing college football, Northern Illinois University)
Sister, Megan (Sterling High freshman)
Season to remember
• Four-year starter led Sterling to school-record 34 wins in 34-3 season
• Team-highs of 315 kills and 138 aces
• Second on team in digs with 213