Keri Coats Journal No. 5

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 13, 2003

As I write this journal we are packing up for a trip to Kansas to the play the Jayhawks.  We’ve played great in our last two matches and hopefully we can defeat Kansas on their home court tonight. 

I was glad we beat Texas Tech last week. Actually, I was surprised the game went five. We had them down 2-1 and that was a match we really wanted.  It was a battle for us, more mentally than physically. It was very good to see the team overcome that obstacle.

I was really impressed with the team against No. 21 Texas A&M.  I thought we should have won the fourth game, which went to 34-32, and pushed it to a fifth and final game.  We were battling with a ranked team at their place, in front of their loud crowd.  A few breaks and it comes down to game five for the win. 

I was really impressed with (senior) Christina Maynes last week.  She really stepped up.  Against Texas A&M our ball control wasn’t were it needed to be, so she kept getting set.  She was able to put the ball away despite the fact that our offense was predictable.  She showed a wide array of shots and was effective at crucial times.

The fact that our team adjusted well in hostile territory made me real proud.  I came out in the second game because of a nagging ankle injury that rendered me ineffective.  

Jen Adams replaced me and jumped right in.  She showed no ill effects from the ankle injury that has kept her on the sideline lately (last six games).  Anna Monsen impressed me too.  We had to put our third string setter in at right side hitter because Sheena Werling tweaked her ankle.   It was exciting to see Anna get in there and put away a big kill right away.  She played well out of position.

My ankle injury is still bothering me and I probably won’t play tonight at Kansas.  I honestly can’t comment on what is wrong.  I just know that I can’t do anything.  We haven’t been able to pin point the actual injury.  I know it’s near my ankle and it’s painful.  It’s frustrating.  I hate sitting out anything.  It even drives me nuts to watch practice from the sidelines.

Alright, time for me to answer a few questions that have been emailed in.

What is the best crowd you’ve experienced during your rookie year in Big 12 volleyball?
Kevin from Lawton, Okla.

I like Nebraska’s crowd for a number of reasons.  Obviously, its huge and always fun to play in front of 4,000 or so people.  For me the best environment is to play in front of rowdy fans that understand the game.  I don’t mind fans heckling my team.  It adds to the environment and makes us concentrate more.

Texas A&M was a new experience. It’s funny because they have so many different cheers.  Stuff you’ve never heard at a volleyball game before.  The whole crowd stands the entire game and gets into the cheers.  They practice this stuff.   Two guys orchestrate everything that the entire crowd does. 

You can tell I had some time to absorb the atmosphere at Texas A&M because I was on the sideline with this frustrating injury.

What does the team want to accomplish by the end of the season?
Jacob from Palm Springs, Calif.

We want to finish out with a good feeling.   We’ve been playing well lately.  We beat a couple squads and hung with Texas A&M, who’s ranked, in front of 2,000 crazy fans. 

If we can keep our level of play high, I’ll be happy.  Knowing that we did everything we could to win is the important thing.  The team wants to leave everything on the court and know that we played to our potential.  I don’t think we have any specific goals as far as wins and losses.  We know if we play our best game, those things will take care of themselves.

Which of the seniors will you miss the most?
Karlee from Oklahoma City

Court-wise, I think I will miss Yvette Villanueva.  Yvette brings a presence to the court that I like and I think helps the team.  When her confidence is high and she’s on her game, there is no one that is more fun to play with.

I have become pretty close with all of seniors because I tend to hang out with those three.  I’ll miss all three of them on a personal level. Actually, I won’t miss Kelly (McCarter) because we live together.  I’ll be spending plenty of time with her in the coming months.

Thanks for all the good questions.  I'll check in again next week.  Go Sooners!

- #13 Keri Coats
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