Working towards excellence: Kora Ruff stands out as an athlete


Shingahembe Kabongo

Kora Ruff playing in a volleyball game at Assumption High School

Matt Mickle, PV Only Editor

Pleasant Valley junior Kora Ruff has been a key component of the volleyball program’s success since she first joined the team in 2018.

Ruff has been the starting varsity setter since her freshman year, and has since made her name known around the country. Ruff was recently ranked in the top 100 high school volleyball players in the country, and was also named an all-american volleyball player by prep volleyball.

Ruff comes from a long line of successful volleyball players. Her mother, Stacey, was an all-conference and all-regional volleyball player at the University of Dubuque, and was inducted into the University of Dubuque hall of fame in 2006. Stacey later went on to coach at the University of Dubuque, and after a few years became the head coach Augustana College in Rock Island Ill.

Kora has been playing volleyball since she was eight years old, and her mother has guided her every step of the way, perfecting her craft and getting her ready to compete at the level she is today.

“My mom’s endless support has helped shape me into the player I am today. She is my inspiration and has taught me everything I know,” Kora explained.

Kora also has two older sisters that kept the tradition of successful volleyball players alive. Kora’s oldest sister, Kayla, played one year of college volleyball at Western Illinois University before transferring to Missouri Western State where she would finish up her college career. Kora’s other sister, Kelsey, is currently playing volleyball at Augustana College in South Dakota.

Kora is the last of the Ruff’s to go through the PV volleyball program, and she is undoubtedly leaving her mark. The team has been conference champs every year since she joined the team, and they have placed third in state the past two years.

While Kora has helped her team reach new heights in her three years at PV, she has also racked up a plethora of awards for herself.

Before even stepping on the floor for her senior season, Kora has already been named first team all-MAC, MAC player of the year, all-metro player of the year, was a part of the all-metro team, first team all-state, was named Iowa state all-tournament team, as well as elite team all-state and WQAD’s The Score named her Student Athlete of the Month for the month of December.

On top of all these awards, Kora has also broken two all time school records. She broke the record for assists per game with 10.0 beating the previous record by 0.3 assists per game, and she is also the total career assists leader with 2,312, shattering the previous record by 619 assists with still one more season to play.

Kora’s college search has already been completed, and she plans to attend the University of Evansville in Indiana to further her academic and athletic career in the fall of 2022. 

As Kora’s mother now sits back and watches her daughter’s future unfold, she can not wait to see what the next chapter of Kora’s life holds. “It’s awesome to watch her hard work get recognized and watch her turn her dreams into reality. I am so proud and happy for her. Words can not express how excited I am to see what she accomplishes at the college level,” Stacey expressed.

However, Stacey is not the only one who has been in Kora’s corner every step of the way. Kora’s high school coach, Amber Hall, has been watching Kora grow and develop as a player for years. 

The opportunity to coach Kora for three years has allowed Hall to see her grow as an athlete, and see her future start to come together as a result of her work ethic and determination. “Kora is one of the most hard working, dedicated, and humble players I’ve ever coached. I am so proud of everything she has accomplished so far in her career and I can not wait to see what she will do next season and beyond,” Hall said.

Kora will lace up her shoes for one more season at PV in the fall of 2022, before she takes her talent to the University of Evansville to pursue her lifelong dream of playing Division I volleyball.