Girl jumping to hit a volleyball

Peyton Groft photo by Colter Elkins

Peyton Groft Breaks a School Record

Fifth-year senior defensive specialist Peyton Groft broke a school record in Dickinson N.D. on Saturday, the first of October. She surpassed Sonja Kamrud, who recorded 2,086 digs for DSU from 1996 to 1999. We interviewed Peyton on her thoughts on breaking the record as well and asked some questions about her career here at Dakota State.

Was the all-time dig record something that was on your mind coming into this year? How long had you been thinking about it?

I had no idea I was anywhere close until a couple of weeks ago when one of my teammates told me ‘Hey, you’re really close to getting 2,000 digs.’ Then, they looked at the record book and it turned out I was close to the school’s all-time record too. My teammates were super supportive about it and it was really exciting.

Did anyone celebrate during the match when you broke the record?

Yes. My teammates on the sideline were counting down how many I had left. I was two digs away going into the match.

Do you have any other goals for yourself this season?

Because it’s my last season, I’m trying to make the best out of every opportunity I have. I don’t want to take anything for granted. I’m trying to leave everything I have out on the court.

Have you thought more of your individual performance since you’ve broken that record?

I think that keeping everything stress-free and just playing is when I perform my best. Just trying to keep everything fun and just having the best time out there is what I’m going for.

Is there anything you’ll miss about playing with this particular team?

We all have super good chemistry with each other. We’re all very close; very good friends. Playing with my sister is something I will miss for sure. We’ve built such good connections with each other.

Did you expect your sister to attend school here as well? What was it like playing alongside her again?

I wasn’t necessarily expecting her to come here, but I was excited for her to have the opportunity. I know we both enjoy playing together. We do have that sister connection, so it’s been really fun to carry on what we began in high school into college.

What are some standout moments of your athletic career here that you really enjoyed?

Making it into the national tournament last year was cool. The atmosphere of that national tournament game was so fun to play in and just having that opportunity to play against the best competition out there was awesome. We’re hoping to make it back there this year and we’re taking it game by game.

Did you always plan on being a DS when you were younger?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a setter. That was my thing. In my mind, that was what I was going to do. My coach said, ‘No. I think being a defensive specialist is what you’ll be really good at.’ I played around with a few positions when I was younger, but since middle school on, I’ve been a defensive specialist. It’s been fun and I think it’s what suits me.

What are you planning on doing with your degree in exercise science.?

After this school year, I’ll go on to physical therapy school for three years, so I have lots of school in the future for me.

Are you interested in sports related injuries or just generalized physical therapy?

Once I get to school, I’ll get the opportunity to see a few different areas. Right now, I’m interested in PT (physical therapy) for the general population.

The North Star Volleyball Super Six Tournament starts on November 11th in Watertown, South Dakota. Cheer on your Trojans volleyball team as they pursue a Championship Title! The live game feed can be found on DSU’s athletics website. Previous game footage can also be found on Dakota State Athletics’ YouTube channel.