Kelsey Jordan sets the ball in the Cats 15U girls’ tournament on the weekend. (CHRIS JASTER/BRANDON SUN)
Kelsey Jordan hasn’t been playing volleyball for very long, but her dedication to improve every day has her shaping up to be an impact player over the next few years.
The 14-year-old setter took up the sport after going to a camp put on by former national team coach Mike Burchuk, where she was told she had good hands.
She’s enjoyed the sport since then and has had a lot of support at home in Carberry. Lisa Nichol, an assistant coach with the Brandon University Bobcats, teaches and coaches volleyball in Carberry, and has helped the 5-foot-10 Jordan come into her own.
Jordan played on Nichol’s Westman Volleyball Club team last spring and is learning from her and former Bobcats left side Chloe Reimer on the 15-and-under Cats Gold club team this spring.
Although she hasn’t been playing volleyball for long, Jordan feels she has improved a lot and learned much from her coaches.
"I’ve come a long way in the year and a half that I’ve been working on it, and my coaches have been so great and my team is so great that they make me look good," Jordan said. "I just really hope I can keep getting better and don’t stop here."
What may be most impressive about Jordan, who is projected to be at least six feet tall, is her work ethic. Raised by a pair of teachers who also coach sports, Jordan knows the value of hard work, and she puts it into everything she does.
She has a 95 per cent average in school and puts a lot of time into volleyball as well. She’s following the weight lifting regimen laid out for her Cats club team, but also does strength and conditioning exercises privately and works with veteran high school coach Dean Kachur of Killarney on her setting in the off-season as well.
"It’s really all I want to do," she said. "I’m so dedicated to it I just want to do better all the time. I’d rather work every day at it than sit on the couch and do nothing."
Her hard work is paying off this season as her club is currently ranked third in the province in its age group. However, the team isn’t satisfied with that and hopes to win the provincial championship in Winnipeg next month.
Jordan is also going to try out for the provincial 15-and-under team this summer.
"I’m going to try out for it. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but I think almost my whole team will try out and it will be really fun if I do," she said.
"I think I have a lot (of confidence). I try to have a lot. I want to be really confident and try to be a starter. I hope I push it into my team too."
Reimer sees a lot of good traits and great potential in Jordan. The Cats Gold coach believes Jordan could have a good future in volleyball at the CIS level, but knows that she will need to continue to be motivated to succeed and go as far as she hopes.
"She’s just a natural leader. She’s always loud and encouraging and gives 110 per cent, which you need out of a setter," Reimer said. "As long as she keeps her head in the game (she can go to an elite level)."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 1, 2014