Female Athlete of the Week: Kelly Pang
Only a few weeks into the season, freshman Kelly Pang helped steer the Washington University women’s volleyball team to an impressive 12-3 overall record. Last weekend, she led the squad with 65 digs over three matches en route to the Teri Clemens Invitational title. Her outstanding effort not only landed her on the all-tournament team, but it also earned her recognition as Student Life’s Female Athlete of the Week.
Student Life: How did it feel to be named to the all-tournament team at last weekend’s tournament? Was that a goal of yours going in?
Kelly Pang: No, it wasn’t really a goal. The goal, or the main thing, was for us all to do well, and the main goal was to win the tournament and to play well, but it was really great to receive the honor, and it made me feel good.
SL: What was it like to beat Juniata College, the No. 1 team in the country?
KP: It was pretty sweet because we were all pumped up for it, and we had been focusing a lot of our practices on defending them and playing our strategies against them. It was great to have the crowd behind us and to have lots of people and for us to show up and be consistent. It was a very good, emotional win.
SL: What is the best win you’ve ever had in your volleyball career?
KP: Juniata was pretty sweet, and St. Thomas was really sweet on Saturday. But in high school we played this team, and they were really good. One of their girls is going to UH [University of Houston]. She is a big player for them. We won. It was Senior Night, and our high school gym was kind of small, so it was loud, and it was packed, and it was crazy.
SL: When everyone on the team huddles in between points, who normally speaks, and what does she say?
KP: I guess the setters sometimes say a lot because they have to direct our offense. A lot of it is telling each other if we have shots, but then a lot of times, too, it’s just like a “good job” and getting each other pumped up. We like to do this thing where you make physical contact, pat each other on the back and stuff, and you make eye contact, so a lot of it is pumped-up-ness. If there’s shots that need to be called or corrections that need to be made, that’s where it gets said.
SL: How do you feel about the team’s chances for success in the rest of the season?
KP: I think we have a good chance because we are a pretty young team, but at the same time we have great leadership. Our two seniors are really great, and they are really great leaders. They are both captains. We have a lot more to go. We still have ups and downs. We need to get more consistent, but if we keep improving, we have a good chance. And since we’ve been having all of these tight matches, it helps us prepare our minds. So, I’m looking forward to it.
The Bears will play in the first UAA Round Robin of the season in Rochester, N.Y., on Oct. 3-4.