Making the Assist
Psychology grad combines passion for helping others with sport she loves
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 24, 2019) — Volleyball and helping others have been the twin pillars of Liesl Engelbrecht’s life throughout her time at KSU. Now, after graduating last week, she’s continuing that theme as she heads to Switzerland club team Geneve Volley as a professional volleyball player who also plans to help coach younger players.
Engelbrecht didn’t begin playing volleyball until her freshmen year of high school, but quickly found a passion and skill for the sport. Just two years later, as a high school junior, she was recruited by KSU and said that she knew instantly that Kennesaw State would be the perfect fit.
“I love playing volleyball, but what has been really special for me has been the relationships that I have built with my teammates and coaches,” the standout middle blocker said.
The successes that the team has shared have also been a source of pride for Engelbrecht. They won the 2017 Atlantic Sun Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournaments for the first time in KSU volleyball history. Engelbrecht also was the all-time leader in blocks with 367 under her belt and was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team.
From her first day at Kennesaw State, Engelbrecht said she never doubted her future as an athlete, but was less sure about her major. She originally thought her future was in sports medicine, but after taking Introduction to Psychology, she was hooked and changed her major. Now, she’s ready to use that hard-earned knowledge to help others.
“Psychology helped fill my desire to want to help people. It’s a field I can grow in and really make a difference,” Engelbrecht said.
Specifically, she is interested in helping children, something she discovered after taking a developmental psychology class. Following the class, Engelbrecht volunteered at local schools to help children with organizational disabilities and coached middle school volleyball teams.
“Getting to combine volleyball and helping people really has been amazing. I hope to continue getting to share the game with young people,” she said.
Engelbrecht, who is originally from South Africa, is no stranger to international travel, and participated in a three-week study abroad trip to Peru. Her group visited a geriatric center where they helped install new safety harnesses in vehicles and volunteered at a center for abused women and children.
For Engelbrecht, the trip served to confirm her interest for helping others.
“Every time I volunteer or work in the field, I know I’ve picked the right major. This is what I want to be doing,” Engelbrecht said.
– Andrea Judy
Photos by KSU Athletics
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.