Keri Coats Journal No. 4

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 05, 2003

Since I last checked in with a journal we’ve had a few games.  We beat Baylor and lost to Texas Tech and No. 11 Nebraska.  Our loss against Texas Tech was disappointing, but I think it was a turning point for us as a team.  After the match we all talked about taking more personal responsibility.  Then we came out against Baylor in the next match and won because we did the little things needed to win.

We had an off weekend before Baylor, which was nice.  To be honest it felt a bit weird.  The break didn’t rejuvenate me physically because the sting of the loss to Tech was still lingering.  The break was good for the team as a whole though.  I was worried that the team might come back flat, but we didn’t.  We had two good, crisp practices before the Baylor match and it showed in our performance.

Baylor was good because it brought a lot of new spirit to the team.  We played really well.  Everyone focused on their individual jobs and took care of business.  Our defense really picked up against Baylor.   We continued to play solid defense against Nebraska.  Although the final outcome was disappointing, it was good to keep that consistency. As well as we played against Baylor, I know we haven’t peaked.  Our goal is still to get better every time we step on the floor.

We play at home against Texas Tech for the second time on Wednesday night and the biggest goal for this team is to remain focused.  If we come out determined and stay on the attack against Texas Tech, we should be fine.

Well I am off to class; I hope to see some of you at our match tonight.  Now onto a few questions:

Being a hitter who has experienced different positions, and experienced many different sets, what do you think makes a good setter?
Lizzie from Austin, Texas

There are a number of things that make a setter good.  Firstly, a good setter is one that works with her hitters and puts up a good, hittable ball.  I like setters that are always trying to put up a good set and are constantly talking to their hitters about where they want the ball.  The most important thing for a setter is to have open lines of communication.  Listen to your hitters suggestions because you are vital to their success, which in turn will make your team more successful. 

Consistency is also very important.  Being able to put the ball in the right spot every time makes a setter invaluable.

I am currently in 11th grade and am 5-2, which is pretty short for a volleyball player. I’d like to play in college, but what can I do to make up for my lack of height?  My serve percentage is about 85-90% and my hits are really good.
Jennifer from Alexandria, Va.

Jennifer, if you want to play in college I would focus on your back row skills, primarily digging and serve receive.  You don’t have to be a libero necessarily.  You can play defensive specialist, which will allow the team to take advantage of your serving ability.  Your height in the back row is an advantage because you have an easier route to the ball.

Keep working on that serve because it will make you a valuable player on any team. Coaches love a player who can put up a difficult serve in tough situations.

It also depends on where you want to go to college.  If you really want to keep hitting, check into D-2, D-3, NAIA or junior colleges.  They will not shy away from you because you’re a shorter than the average hitter.  No matter what, just keep practicing hard and you’ll get what you want.

Is there any significance behind your jersey number (13)?
Chris from Florida

I was No. 14 throughout high school and junior college.  I wanted to be 14 when I came here but Candice Woods wore that number.  So I decided to take No. 13 because it was the closest number to what I wanted.  Woods left the team because of a medical hardship, but I decided to stick with No. 13 since I had already changed.

The reason I began wearing 14 in high school was because of my height.  When you are in high school, the bigger the number, the bigger the uniform.  Since I have always been tall, I ended up with the biggest jersey, which was No. 14.

Now that I wear No. 13, I get a lot of comments from the crowd.  The number is considered to be unlucky so I get lots of comments on the road about that.  At Baylor, the crowd is right on top of the server, literally within an arms length.  Every time I stepped back to serve, they gave me an earful.  We beat them on their home court, which gave me some revenge.

Well its time for me to go.  Please keep sending in your questions.  Go Sooners!

- #13 Keri Coats
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