MONMOUTH — Omlid is a big name in the Western Oregon University community, and Wednesday night another Omlid officially joined the Wolves — Krista, and this time for volleyball.
Sports is what the Omlid family is known for: Krista’s brother, Tanner Omlid, was Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year on the Wolves basketball team. Her mom, Allison Omlid, also played basketball for the Wolves, was an All-American in academics and is now a professor in the communications department.
“Sports — that’s how we get along,” Krista said.
Choosing to play volleyball at WOU wasn’t in her original plans.
“I (didn’t) wanna stay in town; my mom works there (WOU). I wanna get out, you know,” Krista said. “I was like, eh, I’m not even gonna consider it. I was getting offers from schools around the United States, like Florida, Iowa, California,” she said.
Then, WOU’s head volleyball coach, Tommy Gott, came to one of Krista’s club volleyball practices and watched her and another one of her teammates play.
That’s when she decided to give WOU a second look, and was invited by Gott to come to one of the practices at WOU for a chance to play with the other girls on the team.
It was there that she officially received an offer from Gott to join the team.
“I was like, I don’t know how to verbally commit but I’m verbally committing,” she said, adding that afterward, “I was, like, shook, because I didn’t think he was gonna get back to me and say, ‘Oh yeah you can come to our practice.’ I was expecting like, ‘Oh sorry, our roster’s full.’ I think I got pretty lucky.”
Krista has been playing volleyball since fifth grade and is on a club team out of Corvallis. She was on Central High School’s basketball team freshman and sophomore year until she decided in her junior year to just focus on volleyball, which was when she joined the DSK Volleyball Club.
When she was asked if there was pressure on her because of her last name, Krista nodded.
“Definitely. Definitely. Just having my last name just puts massive amounts of pressure on me.”
She hesitated for a second, and then added, “I like that pressure.”
She said that it’s a driving force behind her skill as a volleyball player.
Wednesday night, a crowd gathered in the Panther Pit at CHS to watch her as she signed the official letter of intent inducting her onto WOU’s volleyball team. Her family was there as well as friends and relatives, all gathering to show their excitement and support for her decision.
Tanner, who recently finished up smashing multiple records throughout his final basketball season, is looking forward to watching his little sister establish a name for herself at WOU.
“I’m just happy for her, that she’s found a spot that she likes. I’m excited for her,” Tanner said. “I think there’s a little (pressure), but nothing that she can’t handle. She knows how good she is and how good she can be.”
Krista’s parent, Keith and Allison, are excited to see her following the family’s footsteps.
“I’m really proud of her for making that decision,” Allison said. “It should be a fun place to play — Western’s a great school.”
Keith echoed her, saying how great it’s going to be with her staying so close to home.
“We can drive two minutes to watch the game,” he said. “We’re big Western people.”
Now that she’s signed and everything is official, Krista is looking forward to being on a collegiate team.
“I just want the season to start; I just want to play games,” she said.
Joining her Wednesday night was fellow Panther Braden Fuszek, who signed onto WOU’s football team.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I’m finally content with the decision I made, and I know it’s a great one.”
His decision in choosing WOU for college was largely based in wanting to stay close to home where his roots are.
“I was looking at some other schools around the same area, but, I mean, nothing’s better than staying home, and it’s such a great university, academically,” Fuszek said. “And my two best friends are going there as well, so, it’s gonna be pretty cool.”