OSAGE | The spirit of competition is what drove seniors Kelsey Havel and Brenna Jacobs to continue their athletic careers.

On Friday, Jan. 19, Havel signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Iowa Western Community College, a program that took seventh in the NJCAA Division I national tournament this year.

“When I went into committing somewhere, I really wanted to go some place that is competitive,” Havel said. “Some place I would want to work hard and be competitive throughout everywhere and Iowa Western is a high-rated team in the whole nation. I thought I would fit really well there.”

While the decision to play collegiate volleyball has always been in the back of her mind, Havel had second thoughts throughout the process. But her visit at Iowa Western made a lasting impression, and her four-hour drive back to Osage was all the time she needed to process.

Havel will begin her academic career in general studies, a program conducive to her studies and will help guide her in which direction she wants to take.

She’s most excited for the diverse culture the team brings, the Reivers recently signed a Canadian setter and already have players from Brazil and Argentina.

While Havel was sure of her volleyball commitment, Jacobs wasn’t.

Jacobs, a three-sport athlete, had an array of options on the table. She thought she had chosen one.

“I had committed to go to Kirkwood Community College to play volleyball, but then I got the opportunity to meet with a track coach from Wartburg,” Jacobs said. “I met with him just to see what it was like and it made me rethink everything. He was like, ‘I can make you an All-American.’”

Wartburg seemed to have it all: an accelerated nursing program and an opportunity to excel at a level athletically that Jacobs hadn’t seen from other schools. In addition, Jacobs said she might also consider trying out for the volleyball team.

But the elite individual competition that track brings is something that excites her, which is why she signed her letter of intent to run at Wartburg.

“I just think that track is so rewarding and it’s cut and dry off the times.” Jacobs said.

Jacobs and Havel dedicate their competitive drive to their years at Osage, especially on the volleyball court, where the two made appearances at the state tournament this season.

“Every kid in high school I’ve ever dealt with thinks they’re not good enough to go play at the next level,” head coach Andie Olson said. “And I always tell them that I wouldn’t tell you to go do it if I didn’t think you were able.”

​Reach sports reporter Leah Vann at 641-421-0526.

Follow her on twitter at @GG_LeahVann