Able, aware and accomplished
Published 8:27 pm Saturday, September 21, 2013
NSA’s Nash earns Player of the Week honors
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior outside hitter Kaylor Nash dominated a six-match week on the volleyball court earlier this month, helping the Saints to wins in all of the games, and producing 73 kills, 59 digs, 20 aces and six blocks along the way.
One of those kills and one of the digs helped her reach 1,000 in both categories, the first time in school history a student has ever achieved both marks. To cap off her success, Nash received 219 votes to become the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week for the poll that started Sept. 15.
Even Nash was surprised when she heard her stat totals for the week, saying, “That’s sounds pretty good when you put it all like that.”
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She experienced great success last year with NSA, and her hard work and ability have ensured this year is not just a repetition. Rather, it is about her further progression as a player and the realization of big goals.
Measuring her development as a player from a year ago when she won Player of the Week, Nash said, “Having another year under my belt makes me more experienced, but other than that, I guess I’m just more court aware; I’m smarter with what I do with the ball.”
“She’s the smartest player that I’ve ever coached,” Lady Saints head coach Robyn Ross said.
Nash has a high “volleyball I.Q.,” which means “always doing the right thing with the ball that you have, or the ball that you’re given,” she said. Nash’s “court awareness and volleyball I.Q. is what has grown exponentially from last year to this year and has made her even more dangerous to people,” the coach added.
Nash has increased ability to spot the weaknesses in opponents and then exploit them herself at the net or direct teammates to do so when she is on the back row.
“That’s where she’s making a difference even more than last year,” Ross said.
Nash recognizes the difference between being the younger player, taking advice from more experienced teammates, and now being the most qualified team member to do the advising.
“It’s really cool, not really coaching my players, but helping them out and telling them what to do, just like Quinby (Hines) did with me,” Nash said. “It feels pretty good to pass on my knowledge of volleyball to other kids.”
In fact, she likes it enough to see herself following in Ross’ footsteps.
“Yeah, I want to coach when I get older,” she said, and likely at the high school level.
Ross said it is really rewarding to put in the time and effort as a coach and then see such a payoff both on and off the court. She said her players are growing into great women, and “Kaylor is leading the way with these girls.”
Her work ethic has been a model to follow. Nash trained throughout the summer before her junior year to improve and extended her vertical leap by two inches. She said this summer was similar, including workouts most days, stretching and volleyball camps, “And I think my vertical grew another inch.”
She also found a Division I college home during the summer. Last fall, she had listed finding a college to play for as a major goal.
“Mission accomplished,” she said. “I’m extremely excited about going to Radford (University).”
Identifying her motivation to give her all, she said, “It’s not me to not give 100 percent all the time, but Robyn definitely plays a role in that, because she comes to practice five days a week and gives her 100 percent, so it’s only fair for me to give 100 percent in everything I do.”