Before a big game, Kelly Cole Kills practice by blocking her teammate during a scrimmage.
Photo by Josh Pachio / Cuestonian
By Asa Mason
Sophomore standout Kelly Cole doesnâ€™t just â€œkillâ€ on the volleyball court she kills as a student too. Cole, the cougarsâ€™ middle blocker led in kills this season.
Cole has had a great year rapidly climbing up the Leaderboard of all-time kills at Cuesta.
Courtney Carroll, a former player, record of 308 kills would have been in jeopardy if the cougars had advanced and played more games in the playoffs.
The cougars wrapped up the 2017 season with a 12-11 record and finished third in the Western State Conference.
Cole led the cougars in kills and ended her Cuesta career with 270 kills respectively.
As a student she is majoring in animal science in hopes to becoming a veterinarian.
She received player of the month honors for her play in the month of September from the Cuesta College Athletics Department. This distinct honor recognizes two Cuesta college athletes each month during the school year who have performed to the highest standards in their sport.
Cole has stepped up nicely in Coach Whitney Meyerâ€™s first season and she has developed into an impact player and leader on the floor.
â€œKelly is a wonderful athlete to coach because she is hardworking and smart,â€ Meyer said.
This season Cole has taken a new role in playing all six rotations keeping her on the court has allowed her to shine and have such a great season.
â€œAs one of two sophomores on the team she leads by example,â€ Meyer said. â€œShe demonstrates to her teammates that playing with a confident, resilient, and aggressive attitude is essential for success,â€ Meyer said.
At 5â€™8 Cole is a bit undersized to play the middle blocker position but with the versatility she has size doesnâ€™t matter to her.
In comparison to last year Cole has grown as a leader on her club â€œI think I have grown in confidence which has tremendously helped me as a player,â€ Cole said.
â€œIn the off-season I took a Pilates class to help remain in shape,â€ Cole said.
She is the leader of the Cougars this season statistically in: Aces, Blocks, and Hitting percentage. Her (.304) hitting percentage is the best mark by a Cuesta player in over a decade.
Her highly effective serve and steady defensive skills allow her to play in the back row and gives the team an opportunity to have her attack from every position.
Volleyball has always been a passion for Cole since the 4th grade â€œI love playing this sport,â€ Cole said. â€œI think itâ€™s a really fun, intense, and exciting game it has given me the opportunity to make memories and new friendships with some amazing girls,â€ Cole said.
The cougars had an up and down season they finished conference with an under .500 record but the leadership from the sophomores showed they could be special next year.
â€œOur team this year is almost all freshmen so I think next year they will be a pretty strong team,â€ Cole said.
She had 99 kills as a freshman, tied for fifth on the team, this year she is the outright leader in kills this season.
After not getting any earning any all-conference recognition last year what a difference a day makes.
â€œI would love to play volleyball at the next level itâ€™s a dream of mine,â€ Cole said.
She is not looking into any particular college to play for according to Cole she is keeping all of her options open.