BOZEMAN — About 60 schools reached out with interest when Bozeman Gallatin junior Cadence Lundgren opened her recruitment on June 15. The volleyball standout didn't take long to find her new home — the 6-foot-4 middle announced in July she'd be heading to Kansas State of the Big 12 in 2025.
“I guess I wasn’t initially expecting the amount of reach-outs I got coming June 15," Lundgren said. "It was super overwhelming, and I feel like for me it was definitely a little stressful come that day. And that’s another reason I fell in with my coaches. They made it so easy. They’re the easiest people to talk to in the world."
Lundgren is a part of Big Sky Volleyball, an elite club based out of Bozeman that is a part of USA Volleyball.
She landed on Kansas State ultimately because of the coaching staff. They’ve given her the feeling that Manhattan, Kansas, will be a home away from home.
She's making a jump from the Big Sky country to the Big 12 Conference, a leap that you don’t see every day. But Lundgren’s drive and motivation sets her apart.
“She’s got something inside of her that has that competitive fire," Gallatin coach Erika Gustavsen said. "And she, obviously, wants to compete, wants to win. And is willing to do what it takes, I think, to put her in that position.”
Volleyball runs in the family for Lundgren — her mom played for Montana State in the 1990s. That’s who taught her the game and who’s been there for here through everything.
“She was always the one urging me to get touches on volleyballs," Lundgren said. "She brought me to different camps just to see if it was going to be my thing. Definitely when I was like eight or nine, I was like, 'Oh, I really like this sport.' An no other sports clicked.”
It clicked, to say the least. As a junior, she’s helping lead Gallatin to new heights. The program, in its fourth year, has formed its own identity, one Lundgren has helped cultivate.
“We come in here to get the job done, and we end up winning games," she said. "And so, for us to have that mentality and have that goal of playing Saturday afternoon at the state championship, it’s just going to only get better from there, and so, very excited for that.”
She's made the most growth as a player and a leader this past offseason, according to Gustavsen.
“She put in a lot of time in the offseason developing her all around game, and that’s really shown," Gustavsen said. "I think she’s really coming into her own as a leader and a really great communicator, and she’s just been a really consistent piece so far this season for us.”
She’s seen a lot of success on the court, but she’s stayed humble and hard-working. That's a testament to the people in her corner that help elevate not just her game, but keep her grounded.
“I’m so grateful to have that support system and that motivation because they drive me every day to be a better player, to be a better person. Overall, it’s impeccable to see that in my life.”
Up next for Lundgren and the Raptors is Great Falls High on the road on Thursday.