OSKALOOSA — The wait is over and a little bit of stress was relieved on Monday morning for Oskaloosa’s Faith DeRonde as the senior signed her letter of intent to continue her academic and volleyball career at Iowa State next year.
“This is probably one of the biggest days for me,” DeRonde said. “Like you said, you know you put in all that work, all those hours and all the things that people don't see, and to get a result like this is exactly what I've always wanted.”
DeRonde had offers from other schools in Iowa and out of state schools but growing up in an Iowa State family made her decision a little easier. The former state discus champion also had to decide between track and field and volleyball at the next level. Her massive game at state which saw her finish with a Class 4A Tournament record 40 kills along with 13 digs, one block and one ace to earn all-tournament honors and helping her secure a spot with the Cyclone volleyball program.
“Iowa State has always felt like home for me,” DeRonde said. “Growing up, I always wanted it to be volleyball. This year, I kind of contemplated doing track and then I had that good game state and it allowed me to play volleyball at Iowa State. When I got that opportunity, I grabbed that quick.”
DeRonde collected a few accolades after a huge volleyball season with the Indians. She would be voted as the Class 4A Player of the Year by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association, be selected to the Elite All-State team and the Class 4A all-state first team.
She helped lead Oskaloosa to their first state appearance since 2006 and would break the school’s career kills record. On the season, DeRonde would finish with 521 kills (.360 kill percentage) with 233 digs, 15 blocks and an 89.9% serve percentage with 55 aces.
With the signing, DeRonde knows it means that her time in other sports will be coming to an end soon.
“I am super glad that I've made this decision because it's been super relieving,” DeRonde said. “But that means that I am definitely going to miss my other sports. I still have track and softball and now I'm committed for volleyball so it'll be fun to finish up those seasons. I think it'll be bittersweet, sad at the end, but happy it happened. Just hoping for good seasons in those sports too.”
DeRonde has seen a lot of success in both of those sports as well. She is a defending discus champion and state qualifier in both throwing and running events. She also is a first team all-state softball player who helped get the Osky softball team back to state with her walk-off home run in the regional final while also posting a 15-8 record with a 2.04 ERA and 121 strikeouts over 151 innings. She also batted .349 with six doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBIs.
“I honestly have been blessed with some really great teammates and good coaching over the years and opportunities,” DeRonde said. “That's been just the best thing to reflect on for me. It's honestly just amazing looking back at it, and I don't want it to be over, but obviously it is coming to an end pretty soon. It’s just super bittersweet.”
DeRonde joins an Iowa State program led by long-time head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, who has led ISU to winning seasons in 16 of her 17 seasons with the team. The Cyclones are 16-11 this season and play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Minneapolis against Stanford.