Grand Island Central Catholic's Katie Maser is the honorary captain of the 2019 All-Heartland Volleyball Team. Maser finished with a school-record 3,912 career assists — a mark that will be listed as the Class C-1 record because the setter played the majority of her matches in the larger class.(Independent/Barrett Stinson)

Grand Island Central Catholic has had a lot of great setters over the years.

Katie Maser stands alone on top of them all.

And by quite a ways.

The Crusader setter, a four-year starter, finished her career with a school record 3,912 career set assists. That’s more than 1,000 assists better than former GICC setter Bailey Baxter, who finished with 2,871 in 2010.

That is also a Class C-1 record. Even though GICC competed in Class C-2 this year, Maser played the majority of her matches in the larger class during her career.

The GICC senior said she never would have expected having that record when she set foot into high school.

“That’s a big honor to have such a record like that, especially with all the great setters that have come through here,” Maser said. “But I could never have done that without my teammates or my coaches, or without my hitters and passers.”

While getting the school record was an accomplishment to Maser, she finished her senior season with the ultimate prize along with her Crusader teammates — a state championship. Maser was part of GICC’s 10th state championship team after sweeping Hastings St. Cecilia to claim the Class C-2 title.

For her accomplishments during the season, Maser has been named captain of the All-Heartland Super Squad.

Joining Maser on the squad includes teammate Avery Kalvoda, St. Paul teammates Josie Jakubowski and Paige Lukasiewicz, Hastings St. Cecilia’s Tori Thomas, Broken Bow’s Majesta Valasek and Centura’s Elyana Holcomb.

GICC coach Sharon Zavala said Maser has the traits that make for good setter.

“She has great hands, great balance and has her own style that works for her,” Zavala said. “She likes to arrive to the ball right when she’s going to set it. And she gives a very hittable ball to the hitters. She made her hitters better.

“Plus, she’s even keel. She doesn’t have a lot of ups or a lot of downs. She’s just the kind of person you want as your setter.”

During her senior season, she finished with 963 assists, an average of 10.6 assists for the Crusaders. She also had 75 kills, 30 ace serves and 246 digs.

Zavala said Maser did a great job of being a leader this year. She said she saw Maser talk to the players before going out for the fifth set against Superior in the state semifinals.

“She was a quiet leader for us but knows when to speak up,” Zavala said. “Her leadership and taking charge when she had to was the thing she improved on the most this season.”

The Crusaders, who finished with a 28-5 record, had lost to St. Cecilia three times during the season, which included a five-set loss in the C2-9 subdistrict final at Grand Island Senior High.

After getting by Summerland in three and Superior in five sets in the first two rounds at the state tournament, Maser and her GICC teammates won two close sets 26-24 and 25-22 with the Hawkettes before dominating the third 25-15 to claim the title.

Maser said she felt the C-2 championship match was going to be GICC’s turn.

“Every time we played (St. Cecilia), it got so much more closer,” Maser said. “I think we just went into the match knowing that we can do it. We just played as a team and got it done.”

Zavala said Maser is going to be missed at GICC.

“Katie has been a great kid to coach during her four years,” Zavala said. “I’m going to miss having her around. She’s just a hard worker and a very humble person.”

Maser said finishing her high school career with a state championship with her teammates, especially her six senior classmates, was the best way for her to go out .

“I’m so happy that we were able to do it this year,” Maser said. “It’s a dream come true and it’s awesome us seven seniors got to experience it as our last game together.

“It’s been a great four years and I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.”

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