Haley Kriener's career at UNI has taken anything but the fast track. But the Panther third-baseman knows that the last three years have all been in preparation for one final chance to shine as a Senior.
Kriener says, "I always knew I had a chance, and that hard work would pay off one day, and I've been up and down here and there, but that's something that I've tried to focus on this year a lot, and staying consistent, both playing-wise and attitude: never giving up and just keep working hard."
UNI Softball coach Ryan Jacobs adds, "The pace of the game, the speed of the game is just so fast that it takes some people some time to catch up. Haley was an athlete, she is an athlete; it just took her some time to get up to that speed."
From the moment during her Senior year of high school, when Haley told coach Jacobs that she wished to walk-on at UNI, the coaching staff knew she had a chance to be a long-term project.
"I love to give people opportunities, because I don't know that you truly know what's in them, and some people are going to really surprise you; and the only way you're going to find out is if you give them a chance," says Jacobs.
And Kriener recognizes the importance of having a coach who believes in you.
"Always having confidence in what I can do, and giving me chances, and helping me after practice, before practice; just never giving up on me, and always helping me work on the little things," Haley says.
Jacobs adds, "As coaches, we see what all these kids can potentially do, but it's not up to us whether they get there; we just give them the told to try to get there, and it's up to them how they use them."
This year, Haley finally has the chance to showcase how well she's using those tools.
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