Tiedt sports 4.4 GPA in classroom

Malik Tiedt soars for a jump serve, a move he worked hard on in the offseason before his senior year with the Demons. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

 

By Andrew Horschak

Sports Correspondent

A walk-off home run. A 3-pointer at the buzzer. A pin late in the third period. A game-winning interception return for a touchdown.

All exciting, for sure.

Ask Malik Tiedt what it’s like to punctuate a long rally with a kill to end a set or match on the volleyball court, and the Burlington senior outside hitter paints a pretty good picture.

“I guess the most exciting part is having all of your teammates scream,” he said. “They’re running toward you. You’re bumping and pushing each other. It’s super riveting and exciting. That’s the part that always motivated me the last three years – that feeling of having all of that support behind you every time you do something good.”

It’s not all about the individual success for the three-time team captain, though.

“I find it just as exciting when someone else gets a kill,” Tiedt continued. “That’s my favorite part about volleyball. It’s not just about what I’m able to do. It’s about encouraging others and seeing what they’re able to do, too.”

One of the state’s best at the net with 331 kills and an eye-popping .481 hitting percentage, Tiedt was picked as the Southern Lakes Newspapers All-Area Boys Volleyball Player of the Year.

In addition to his hitting prowess, he also led the team with 38 service aces and ranked second with 178 digs.

“Malik was so much fun to watch,” third-year Burlington coach Mike Jones said. “He played all six rotations. He was the guy we wanted the ball to go to all the time. Anytime he got the ball he was doing something positive with it.”

The middle child of Darin and Heidi Tiedt’s five sons, Malik is the only volleyball player in the family, which includes older brother Hegeman, a member of the University of Wisconsin football team.

Tiedt started playing club volleyball in fourth grade on a girls team. He later moved on to the Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball Club and the Southport Volleyball Club.

“We were all encouraged to play different sports when we were kids,” Tiedt said. “Our parents had us try everything and pick what we liked and go from there.”

What attracted him to volleyball?

“I don’t know,” the 6-foot-1 Tiedt said. “I guess growing up in Burlington, volleyball has always been a pretty big sport. In 2012, I saw the guys go to state. That’s when I was like, ‘OK, that’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to be like.’ After I saw that, it was a dream from there and I kept pursuing it.”

Ranking third in his class with a weighted grade-point average of 4.4, Tiedt is in the process of applying at various colleges. He plans to major in biochemistry and hopes to find time to play volleyball for a club team.

A three-time first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference selection, Tiedt capped his prep career by being selected the SLC Player of the Year after the back-to-back league champion Demons shared the crown with Racine St. Catherine’s. One year after being named honorable mention All-State by the Wisconsin Boys Volleyball Coaches Association, he earned high honorable mention honors as a senior.

“One of the things that always stuck out to me going back to his sophomore year was Malik was always very level-headed,” Jones said. “He never let the excitement of the moment in a positive or negative way get to him.”

Quick to credit those around him, Tiedt heaped praise on junior setter David Paul, a two-time first-team All-SLC selection.

“It has been a blessing to be on the same team as him,” Tiedt said. “Our connection as a setter and hitter kept on developing. We’re friends both on and off the court. He’s a great setter and has a big personality. He’s really able to get the team fired up when we’re down.”

When asked how he would describe himself as a teammate and captain, Tiedt paused before answering.

“I embraced leading by example instead of leading by what I say,” he said. “I think that’s a virtue that I constantly try to live up to because you can show so much more by leading people and leading a team through how you act instead of what you say.”

 

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