Reeves: Potential To Succeed
By Alisha Roemeling
Despite her age, Kelly Reeves - the 19-year-old sophomore outside hitter for the UCLA volleyball team - sure has a long list of accomplishments.
Since the age of 12, Reeves has been playing volleyball on the beach with her family. Her mother Jeanne Reeves introduced her to the sport after Kelly had already played soccer and softball growing up.
"I used to play soccer and baseball and then my mom wanted to introduce me to more of a girl's sport," Reeves said. "So, I tried volleyball and ever since that try out when I was 12, I fell in love with the game."
Her mother, who was also her club coach for six years, was a four-year letter winner (1979-82) at UCLA and ranks 14th on the Bruins' all-time kills list, and was also an All-American in 1982 and an assistant on the '90 and '91 National Championship squads. Volleyball has been a large part of Kelly's life.
With a match against USC just around the corner, the team has been working hard to stay focused and consistent. Reeves is fully confident in herself and in her team for the battle against the Trojans.
"USC is always a fun [match] because it's our rival," she said. "It's always a really great game for both sides of the court. It's always really entertaining, and I really enjoy competing with them because they're such an elite team. It's a battle and a great game every time."
Reeves' passion for the game is clear.
"I love the whole game, but I think that the best part is when you get a solo block straight down, it's the greatest feeling of all time," she said. "Also when you get a straight down hit, I don't get those very much, but when I do get them I go crazy."
The 2011 season brings hope for everyone and Reeves seems confident that the change is good.
"Well, last year was somewhat of a transitional year with the new coaching staff, and new everything," she said. "This year is a little different because we know what to expect from our coaches after being with them for a whole year. I think we have a lot of depth on our team and we have more weapons that we can use and we're a lot bigger this year, which is a definite advantage.
"Our potential to succeed as a team is definitely there, we just have to keep pushing ourselves and keep executing our plays like I know we can."
This past summer, Reeves participated in many competitions and was also the team captain for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team, which finished fourth at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship in Peru. By the end of the tournament, she had racked up 115 points, which was seventh among all players and second on team U.S.A.
Though she already has a long list of accomplishments, Reeves has more goals to meet this year.
"Staying confident is one of the main things I need to concentrate on. Last year confidence was a huge issue for me and I think that this summer has really helped me to gain my confidence back," she said. "I just need to carry that confidence into the season. Also I need to stay consistent on my hitting, being smart, and getting after the ball. Not being afraid to go after it when my chance arises and to take charge, even if I am just a sophomore it really doesn't matter. Consistency and confidence are definitely tied together for me, and I plan to work on them this season."
Being such a young player, she's more excited than ever to be at UCLA. When asked why she chose to play for UCLA she said, "It feels like home. I took my unofficial visit back in January of my junior year of high school and I just knew. I went to a men's basketball game and it was unreal, I knew right away. I told my mom 'I want to be a Bruin right now.' I love the whole atmosphere up here, it's far enough away from home but not too far, and it has everything I want in a school: the weather, the facilities, the coaching staff, everything."
Since that visit almost two years ago, she has fallen even more in love with the school and the sport. The upcoming academic year is an important one for Reeves as she tries to determine her major, and starts to make plans for her future.
"I want to play overseas somewhere in Europe after graduation and train for the national team," she said. "Maybe [I will] stick with indoor volleyball for a while, but eventually move to beach volleyball. It's something I want to do for my whole life, I really love the sport and can't wait to pursue it further."