October 20, 2008

Up Close & Personal with Whitney Kiser

Sophomore Whitney Kiser is up next for the women's volleyball team at Lees-McRae as we continue our Up Close series. The Connelly Springs, North Carolina native leads the team in hitting percentage (.293), kills (213, 2.63 pg) and service aces (38, .47 pg) and is fourth in Conference Carolinas standings in hitting percentage and fifth in service aces. Off the court Kiser is pursuing a degree in communication arts with plans to end up in advertising/design. Join us as we get to know her better.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae College? I wanted to go somewhere where I would be noticed and not just another number on the campus. As well as I love being close to home so I can see my friends and family. Family is everything to me!

2. What are you most looking forward to this season? I'm looking forward to diving right into being the best I can. Last year I struggled a bit adjusting to the college level. This year I know what to expect, and I'm looking forward to using this new advantage to hopefully become a dominant player.

3. In which part of the game does your strength lie? As much as I would like to say passing is my strength, I think everyone knows that is not the case! The part of the game where I contribute most to my team is my hitting. I have a good vertical which helps me to stand out in my position. I use my natural gifts along with trying my best to apply all I am taught to be the best hitter I can be to best help my team.

4. What do you do to prepare yourself for matches? I try to become as mentally stable as possible by thinking about all that I've learned so that I can put it into practice to help my team come out on top. I also use the time designated as the mental moment to pray. I rely on God for many of my daily tasks; volleyball is no different.

5. Who has had the biggest impact on your volleyball career? I could not be even close to the player I am today without all my coaches from the very beginning. However, the person that has had the biggest impact is my dad. I would have never believed that I could be playing volleyball on a collegiate level. I would not have even tried to pursue that possibility. But my dad always had faith in me and always pushed me to try to be more, to be the best. He's the one who made me believe that I could be more than I ever thought I could be. I would not be here playing volleyball today without the influence of my dad.

6. What is your favorite part about being a member of the Bobcat volleyball team? I love the fact that everyone is appreciated for their own strengths. No one on the team is overlooked. It's a great feeling to know you are appreciated and noticed.

7. What personal and team goals have you set for this season? My personal goal for this year is to become a dominant force on the court. In other words, I want to be the girl the other team is afraid of. As far as team goals, I'm sure I feel no different than any other girl on the team when I say I want to win the conference and make it to at least the Sweet Sixteen.

8. What is the biggest mental challenge you face on the court? My biggest mental problem is confidence. Sometimes I don't have as much confidence as I should, and it affects my play. However, I feel myself becoming more confident with every play.

9. Who has been the biggest role model in your life? How? The biggest role model in my life would have to be my mom. She is an amazing woman with many talents. She is the most genuine, caring, selfless and thoughtful person I know. She always puts others before herself, and I admire her for that. She is patient, kind, creative, brilliant, and the list just goes on and on. She is the biggest role model in my life for many reasons. I hope to become half the woman and mother she is. She's given me all she can and more.

10. What is your idea of a perfect afternoon? A perfect afternoon for me would consist of lots of activities and not enough time. It would be spent with the people I love most. We would simply be together enjoying each other's company. It wouldn't matter what we did as long as we were together. I am very easily amused so what I do doesn't matter as much as whom I do it with.

11. If you could try something new today what would you try and why? If I could do one thing today it would be skydiving. That is one thing I promise to myself that I will do before I die. I enjoy trying new things and expanding my horizons. I love making new memories, and I'm sure skydiving would be one memory that would last a lifetime.

12. Describe your favorite dessert. My favorite dessert couldn't fit on one plate! Dessert is my downfall when it comes to eating healthy. I don't think I can limit it to one thing. However, to keep it simple- my favorite dessert would have to be a brownie topped with ice cream and chocolate syrup.