Courtesy of Catie Mueller

Caitie Mueller named CCAA’s Setter of the Week for two consecutive weeks

By Deena Wicker, Oct. 18, 2022

Cal Poly Pomona’s Caitie Mueller has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s Volleyball Setter of the Week for the second time in a row.

The CCAA consists of 12 NCAA Division II athletic programs. Out of 37 setters in the league, she was surprised to learn that she received the honor yet again for the week of Sept. 12-18.

“I didn’t expect it because I didn’t really think that they would give it to someone back-to-back, at least as setter,” said Mueller. “It was really cool, it helped me feel good about the work I’ve been putting in. It was honestly just an honor; it was cool to have that even when I was not expecting it.”

Courtesy of Caitie Mueller

Mueller led an impressive season so far, tallying 468 assists over 46 sets. Averaging 10.17 assists per set, she holds the highest assist average in the entire league.

Though her main priority as a setter is to assist, she has proven herself as a well-rounded teammate this season as she also holds a remarkable total of 24 kills and 105 digs.

A valuable player on her own, Mueller also acknowledges the execution of a winning game requires the effort of both her and her team. She credits part of her assist count to her hitters, whom she feels confident in floating to for a kill.

While her individual development includes reading the opponent to play her next move, she is secure in her decisions, knowing she has the freedom to move the ball anywhere on the court.

In addition to her teammates, Mueller credits her confidence on the court to her coaches Traci Dahl, Jimmy Lo and Zoe Herrera. She admiringly nods to their intelligence with strategies and the tireless effort they put in off the court to ensure the team’s success.

“Honestly, a big thing for me that has helped me grow is just the confidence that Coach Dahl has for me. She has reiterated that many, many times,” Mueller said. “Just being able to play with that confidence that I didn’t necessarily have from other coaches helps to be able to flow a lot better, and I feel like I can make mistakes without it being a super negative thing.”

Prior to becoming a setter for CPP, Mueller played for Liberty University, a Division I program in Virginia. She chose her first commitment due to its high-quality facilities, its Christian values, and its opportunity to explore a different side of the nation in comparison to her hometown of San Clemente.

For many high school recruits, including Mueller during her time at Jserra Catholic High School, attending a NCAA DI school is one of the highest achievements. Despite critics who might wonder why Mueller would willingly depart from Liberty’s DI program to a DII program at CPP, the setter has no doubt she made the right decision.

“Now I could say that I don’t really think that DI versus DII is that big of a deal. I think a lot of teams in DII could beat DI schools,” Mueller said. “So, whenever people ask me ‘Oh do you feel bad about going down?’ I’m like ‘Absolutely not.’ We’re in contention for rings and stuff, like there’s no way some of the lower ones are gonna get there.”

Growing up in Orange County, California, Mueller remained busy throughout her childhood. She spent her free time going to the beach with friends, hanging out around town and keeping up with her athletics.

Coming from a family who also likes to stay active, she had many opportunities to practice a variety of sports before she found her calling, including dance, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, tennis, softball and of course, volleyball.

Within her many childhood sports, she played positions that were essential to every play. Whether she was a goalie, a catcher, or one of the two players in a tennis match, Mueller was putting in the work, despite her distaste for certain elements in many of her old sports.

When she was just 11 years old, she began volleyball and quickly grew to love it.

“I really liked going from softball, which was like super slow, to volleyball. It was just fast-paced. I liked the competitiveness of it,” Mueller said.

Volleyball remained a prominent element in Mueller’s life for the past 12 years, and it will remain long after her collegiate career concludes.

As a liberal arts pre-credential student, her postgraduate plans include pursuing a career in teaching, specifically working with elementary students. Though she does not plan to continue playing after college, Mueller is interested in pursuing a part-time position in high school coaching and intends on teaching her own children the ways of her game.

“Sports are a big thing in my family in general, so it’s gonna be here, like always,” Mueller said.

Feature image courtesy of Caitie Mueller

Verified by MonsterInsights