Volleyball captain: Leader at net, off court


Stacy Ardoin

De Anza women’s volleyball captain Kaitlyn Keller prepares to serve the ball.

Say no more about the De Anza College’s women’s volleyball team, which has “dumped” right into the season this year with a new captain that is far from a new player to this game.

Kaitlyn Keller, 19, psychology and sociology major at De Anza, has been playing for the women’s volleyball team for two years.

“It was crazy that we all-I mean like the whole team voted for Kaitlyn. I knew from the get-go she was a leader as well as the voice for our team,” said teammate Olivia Keyser, 18, biology major and defensive specialist.

Kaitlyn’s cousins were her inspiration to get into the sport, since they played before she did.

“They would take me to their tournaments, where I would sit and watch volleyball for seven hours. I fell in love with the way it was played; the drive that players showed when they wouldn’t let a ball drop,” Keller said.

Kaitlyn has had years of experience with volleyball as well because she is also a former captain for her high school volleyball team along with a slew of random clubs.

She has been playing volleyball for about seven years now.

“I started very late in the game in eighth grade, while others had been playing volleyball since the age of 8 and I had to work twice as hard to get up to the level they were at,” she said.

Not only does Kaitlyn hold down her title as captain of her team, but as a setter, she doesn’t earn many points. The few points she earns are from her aces off of serves and dumps.

“At just the right time I look to see if the center of the court is open on the opposite side and if it is I use two hands to set the ball over the net. I have scored a lot of points that way,” she said.

Keyser mentioned that one of Kaitlyn’s strengths is her serving, as she is definitely one of the team’s best servers. She plays hard on the court while continuing to remain calm.

Being a team player and encouraging her team to play together is what Kaitlyn strives to do besides winning.

“My goal as a captain is to bring the team together through teamwork on the court and friendships off the court,” she said.

As a leader, she takes responsibility for what happens on the court by taking pressure off her team mates when mistakes are made.“Our winning technique is relaxing,” Kaitlyn said proudly.

Teammate Melanie Baron, 19, kinesiology major, describes Kaitlyn as a hard worker because she’s constantly touching the ball every play, works on the passes she gets and they aren’t always right to her.

“She has passion and effort she puts into how she plays and I admire her for that because I don’t think anyone else on the team loves volleyball as much as her,” Baron said.

As a captain, Kaitlyn says her main role is to lead by example. And leading games through support keeping everybody on track.

“Some of us on the team are best friends and hang out with each other on and off the court, whereas, some of the other players only see each other on the court, but we are all friends,“ said Kaitlyn.

Although Kaitlyn has expressed her interest in being a coach instead of a player (since she has coached for 4 years), leading a team with a 14-3 win not only demonstrates her commitment to being the team captain of De Anza women’s volleyball team, but proves the one thing she says before the game that gets her teammates hype is, “We want this, so let’s go out there and get it.”