With college scouts interested in her talent at a very young age, Kaia Caffee ‘24 has always been in the spotlight. Playing volleyball since age eight and getting her first recruiting email at 13, Caffee has been interested in playing college volleyball for a long time.
Caffee, a 6 ‘4 middle hitter, always wanted to play varsity volleyball in high school, but after attending a certain college game, she was set on playing in college.
“I started playing volleyball through Junior Bison. I tried every sport except for softball and lacrosse. I liked volleyball so I thought ‘I’ll just stick with volleyball,’” says Caffee. “When I was 12 I was like, ‘I want to make varsity at some point in my life,’ but then I went to a Gopher game and ended up becoming family friends with one of the middle blockers for the Gophers. It made me want to play college volleyball. I started doing recruiting stuff with my club, and then I got letters.”
On June 15, 2022, when colleges could communicate with upcoming Juniors, Caffee had hundreds of texts, emails, and letters from various schools.
“When I started the process, I wanted to keep my options open but then I realized there were too many to keep them all open,” Caffee said. “I needed to start turning people down. I used to keep a note in my notes app with all the social media follows, emails, and questionnaires but eventually, there were too many to keep track of. I realized I had to focus on the schools I wanted to communicate with.”
She narrowed it down to her top 3 choices: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, all D1 schools. Over the summer before her Junior year, she went on a road trip to all three schools and took tours of the campuses. Choosing a school is a long, difficult process, but Caffee chose the school she fell in love with.
“Growing up a Gopher fan was a huge factor for me. I loved the head coach and supporting staff. I even became family friends with some of the Gopher athletes and ended up coaching next to a lot of the team at Club Bison clinics,” Says Caffee. “Although it was an amazing experience, I fell in love with Ohio State. I had a gut feeling, the one you get when you know something is right. The campus, coaching staff, and the energy they were giving me felt really comfortable, even though Minnesota was my dream school.”
Teammate Grace Therrien ‘24 believes Caffee is leaving a big impact on the Bison Volleyball team.
“Kaia is an amazing player and teammate, she is always super encouraging, keeps positive energy, and really contributes a lot to the team,” says Therrien. “She has always had a great work ethic and an optimistic, positive attitude. This year after her commitment has been no different. She is super talented and is a key component to our team, she is a very reliable teammate.”
Kaia is now committed to Ohio State and will be there for 4 ½ years. She plans to graduate high school early, but will still play volleyball for BHS. Kaia is unsure of her major as of now but is looking into an undergrad in sports management, and a master’s in coaching.