By Mark Ambrogi
Roncalli High School senior volleyball player Aly Kirkhoff describes herself as a perfectionist.
“So being able to get in the gym and get better is very special to me,” she said. “I just love to play the game with my best friends. It sounds cliche, but my teammates are really some of my best friends and I wouldn’t want to go into battle with anyone else every day.”
Kirkhoff said she believes she has made the most improvement with her leadership.
“I have been pushing myself to lead my teammates, which makes our program better as a whole,” she said. “I always try to keep my teammates’ confidence and play up, because when we perform, we’re unstoppable.”
Kirkhoff said she benefited from playing with former Roncalli libero Emma Halter, a sophomore on the defending NCAA champion University of Texas.
“I’d say Emma is my biggest role model, both on and off the court,” Kirkhoff said. “She helped me learn how great players train and how to hold yourself and others accountable to the standard.”
Roncalli coach Christina Erazmus said Kirkhoff learned from Halter.
“Aly was able to be next to one of the best there has ever been (Halter). I think she is becoming one of the best there has been, in my opinion,” Erazmus said. “Aly is quick on her feet. She is super athletic. She is very consistent with her ball control and putting it where we need it, so we can run a good offense. She’s very competitive. She wants to win. She pushes the other girls to become better.”
Kirkhoff is optimistic about the team’s opportunity to go far in the state tournament this year.
“I’d say my biggest goal for the team would be to be able to be playing in November for a state championship,” said Kirkhoff, who was Roncalli’s regional championship team in 2021.
The 5-foot-7 Kirkhoff already has committed to LSU.
“LSU’s culture and community feel is unmatched,” she said. “Along with this, I will have the opportunity to train with amazing players and coaches, while acquiring a very good education. As soon as I went onto campus, I knew it was the place for me.”
Kirkhoff’s grandfather is former Roncalli High School basketball coach Bob Kirkhoff, and her cousin Kellie Kirkhoff was a star basketball player for the Royals.
“They are two of the many people in my family that inspire me to push myself to become the best volleyball player and person,” Aly Kirkhoff said. “My family is very close, so I often find myself striving to make them all proud. Coming from a very sports-oriented family, I played almost every sport growing up. Prior to high school, I played basketball for about 10 years and travel softball for seven years.”
Her father, Mark Kirkhoff, played basketball and baseball at Roncalli.
“(Aly) has been around Roncalli her whole life, she really does bleed red, white and blue,” Erazmus said.
THE KIRKHOFF FILE
NAME: Aly Kirkhoff
SCHOOL: Roncalli High School
HOBBIES: Hanging out with friends and family and watching sports.
COLLEGE PLANS: Playing volleyball at LSU, while studying business management.
FAVORITE SUBJECT: Math
FAVORITE MOVIE: “Top Gun: Maverick”
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: “Friends,” “Pretty Little Liars”
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Joe Burrow
FAVORITE MUSICIAN: Harry Styles
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: Country
PARENTS’ NAMES: Mark and Teresa Kirkhoff