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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 17, 2018

Panther profile: Ashlee Menke

Sep 21, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Ashlee Menke

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Ashlee Menke is a senior at Mt. Pleasant High School and a member of the Panther volleyball team.

Menke has been the starting setter for the last three years and is coming off a year where she made both All-Conference and All-GTNS.

Menke met with The News on Wednesday before practice. The questions are in bold with her answers following.

Did you grow up here in Mt. Pleasant? I did not. I actually grew up in West Point, where I live now.

Have you always been in the Mt. Pleasant school district? No, I came from Central Lee and then switched over in sixth-grade.

Do you have any Central Lee Hawks gear that you wear sometimes? I don’t wear it, but I definitely have a lot of Hawk gear.

How long have you been playing volleyball? I started in sixth grade with the rush team. Makayla Beason and I started out together, so its been a good time.

Have you made plans for after high school? School wise, I’m pretty sure I’m going to the University of Iowa and I plan on going into pediatrics.

What’s the key to being a good setter? Do you have to slow things down a little bit or do you just always know where the hitters are going to be? I think it’s good to watch the blockers on the other side, to (whatever spot) they are moving towards. I think it’s good to set it away from them and just to stay focused and not get upset at yourself, because then everything goes down hill.

What about the old fake, “I’m going to set it” but then tap it over? Are those pre-planned or is it in the moment? That happens pretty randomly. I only do it if I’ve set the back, the outside and the middle a couple of times. I just do it to switch up their rotation.

To keep them guessing? Yeah, basically.

What do you like better, home games or road games? I would say home games, definitely, because we have a lot of support and our student section is pretty awesome. I like our court a lot better.

Do you have any favorite theme nights that the student section does? I really like when they do beach night. I think they did Halloween night a couple of years ago on senior night. I hope they do that again. That would be cool.

Of the local teams you guys play against, who has the best student section? I would say Ft. Madison is definitely the loudest. I don’t know if there are a lot of people in the student section but I remember them being the loudest.

Do you have any superstitions? Well, last year I would wear white socks to every game and now this year I wear black socks to home games and white socks to away games. I don’t know, it just seems to work for me.

Which of your teammates would make the best coach? Definitely Dani (Broeker). She’s very orderly and she always knows where things are going on. She definitely would be the best coach.

And her parents are both coaches. Yeah!

Out of your hitters, which one is most intimidating when they go up for a spike in practice? Jackie (Fraise) and Kalynn (Batey) are both pretty intimidating but when Jackie gets the ball, I always feel like she’s going to either hit someone in the face or its just going to go. I don’t know, she always just hits it so hard.

Has she ever taken anyone out in practice? Not in practice, but in a game she did give a girl a facial. She felt really bad.

When you are not at school or practice, what could you be found doing? Hanging out with friends, nothing too major I guess. We usually play volleyball together. That’s basically what we do.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show? TV show, definitely The Office. It’s super funny. Movie, I’d say “The Heat” with Melissa McCarthy because she’s super funny in it, and I love that movie so much.

Isn’t she a cop or something in that? Yeah!

We ask these next two to everybody. If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would you choose? Probably Blake Lively, because she’s like my girl crush. Her husband is also really funny so I think it’d be really cool to hang out with them for a day.

What would you guys do? I don’t know, probably go watch one of their movies or something.

I’m sure they’d love that. Yeah, probably!

What if you could pick a superpower to have? I would say invisibility because I think it would be really funny to just mess with people and move things around.

I like that answer. Just pop up random places. Oh yes, that would be funny!

Coming down the home stretch. Who is your favorite teacher that you’ve ever had? Mrs. Anderson is probably my favorite teacher. She is just really easy to talk to.

Do you have any shout outs? Shout out do the Panther football team, because we have lost two players to injuries and I just really hope they have a good season this year.

Panther Profile is a series of interviews with Mt. Pleasant athletes currently in season. This season will focus on members of the football, volleyball and cross-country teams.

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