It turns out James has been without internet connection for the last 3 days (the joys of moving back to college sometimes) and I have been helping freshmen move in this weekend. This led us to us missing yet another profile preview yesterday (Faye Adelaja), so Faye's preview will come along with Kierra "Kiki" Jones' profile for today. Don't worry, no McKayla Maroney this time. We should be back in order after tonight, and James will be covering the next 3-4 previews as I wrap up RA Training. But in the mean time, it's time to preview 2 Middle Blockers.
Faye Adelaja (Freshman)
Baton Rouge, LA (Parkview Baptist)
2012 Projection: Red shirt
Kierra "Kiki" Jones (Sophomore)
Fishers, IN (Hamilton Southeastern)
2012 Projection: Starter/Main Rotation
Faye comes into Purdue ranked among the top 250 Senior Aces in 2011 and earned All-State Selection her last two seasons. As a senior, Faye compiled 612 kills, 245 digs, 46 aces and 45 blocks, leading her team to the Louisiana State Semifinals. Though Faye also earned MVP honors at the Purdue Volleyball Summer Camp, Coach Shondell said in my interview with him that Faye will most certainly be red shirting this year due to the amount of front court players available this year. Certainly her red shirt season will give her a chance to prepare for college level volleyball and make her a great candidate to take over positions being vacated at the end of the season due to graduation.
Kierra "Kiki" Jones is coming into the 2012 season after earning an All-Big Ten Freshmen Team selection. Kiki also ranked 5th in the Big Ten with 1.22 blocks per set (best on her team and 44th best Nationally), as well as 1.44 kills per set while hitting 0.350 (4th in the Big Ten).
Over the summer, Kierra joined Val Nichol and Ariel Turner on the Team USA A2 Volleyball team. Coach Shondell mentioned how this experience motivated them to have their game at a high level, and was a shot of confidence for them, seeing that they are being viewed as some of the best collegiate volleyball athletes in the nation. Coach Shondell also mention how Kierra is one of the most improved players coming into 2012, as "her offense has blossomed a lot during the spring." Kiki has learned how to go off one foot when attacking the ball, allowing her to go behind the setter. This was a strength that Tiffany Fisher had developed during her career and allowed her to get most of her kills. As Kierra developed this ability, Coach Shondell could probably move her into the "Middle 1st Position" (M1) during the season, lining up next to the setter. Expect her and Anna Drewry to wreak havoc up front this season.
Interview with Kiki Jones after her breakout perform in the 2011 Mortar Board Premier at the beginning of the season.