Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Jones is usually dancing when she comes out of the locker room before Eastern Michigan University volleyball games. The coaching staff and her teammates say Jones is high energy during the game, in practice and on the sidelines. If she isn’t playing, she’s cheering and creating positive energy for her teammates.
“She plays very physically and she’s very aggressive and loud.” EMU head coach Kim Berrington said.
On the court, Jones loves to be loud and energetic.
“I like being fun, it gets me excited. It reminds me that this is something fun and something I love to do,” Jones said. “It’s always easy to do, it’s always easy to be loud.”
Jones’ teammate, senior co-captain Erin Short, reiterated the sentiment.
“She’s very passionate about what she does. If I had to pick three words that describe Kelsey they would be, loud, passionate, and energetic,” Short said.
Kelsey Jones was raised in Reed City, Mich., about an hour from Lake Michigan. She is the youngest of three siblings. Jones’ mother and older sister Caitlin both played volleyball.
“I started playing volleyball in the fourth grade, at after school clinics,” Jones said.
She led the Reed City high school volleyball team in kills and hitting percentage her senior year.
Jones also earned Central Stated Activities Conference first team honors her junior and senior years and was picked as a Detroit Free Press Scholar Athlete.
Jones redshirted her first year at EMU.
“She came in pretty raw,” Coach Berrington said “She redshirted her freshman year and that really allowed her skills to develop.”
Last season, Jones played in 22 matches for EMU and started once. Jones had nine blocks, six digs, two assists and two kills for the eagles in 2012.
“I remember last season, in the game against Northern Illinois,” said Jones. “It was the first real game I had been in. Coach said get in there and block that ball so I did. It felt so good, I was helping the team.”
Kelsey says she developed her high energy style playing in high school and on club volleyball teams and has developed her skills at Eastern.
“Eastern Michigan is new and different. I have learned so much being here since my freshman year.” Jones said.
Assistant volleyball coach John Kessenich has had a major influence on Jones this season.
“Johnny has taught me so much about blocking this year and it shows in the stats this season,” Jones said.
Jones leads the Eagles in blocks,, with 81 this season. She also has 94 kills this season and 137 total points.
“It’s her first year starting, but she’s worked and practiced like that for the last two years.” Berrington said “She has worked extremely hard.”
EMU senior co-captain Paige Roback also mentioned Jones’ work ethic.
“She is probably the most optimistic and hardworking player on the team,” Roback said.
Kelsey Jones and the Eagles are 11-6 this season, 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play.
“We’re a very skilled team this year and I think that showed in our preseason games,” Jones said. “I think we should do really well the rest of this season.”