Holford, trying to disrupt the opponents with a well-placed float serve.
Sept. 24, 2010
Sophomore Kelly Holford has worked her way into a key role for the Huskies this season, helping anchor the defense and passing game. The Long Beach, California native has upped her stats in every category, heading into this weekend's Pac-10 opener averaging 1.88 digs per set and she is tied for third on the team with eight aces so far. Holford talks to GoHuskies.com about the close-knit Husky family and how they pass the time on road trips, what makes for an effective float serve, and new puppy Charlie.
GoHuskies.com: You've seen a big increase in playing time this season and have had a pretty regular role so far. What have some of the biggest differences been for you this year?
Kelly Holford: I think it's all about confidence. As a freshman you're doing your job, but coming from high school it's a completely different environment. Any freshman can do it, but it's a whole new experience as you're transitioning. So just confidence and that comes with knowing you can do your job, and just doing it over and over. Knowing you can repeat the right things.
GH: What kind of things has Coach McLaughlin worked with you on?
KH: Definitely being more vocal. He taught us that we can all be leaders, so everyone has their own leadership role. For me and Jo (Jenna Orlandini) it's obviously defense. Just becoming a leader out there, doing my job and doing the best job I can for the team and saying and doing things that are positive.
GH: Aside from digs, your stats don't always show up in the box score, so what kinds of numbers are you looking for when you see the stats at the end of a match?
KH: As a team we're trying to pass at sixty-five percent perfect. So me and Jo are working our way up. We're trying to get at sixty-five and above and meet our standard, and we're getting better. It's all about mechanics though, so when we get our mechanics right it makes it like a whole new game. It can be frustrating but really when you get it down it feels natural and it becomes a lot easier. Serving and passing is important for us.
GH: You guys just finished three straight road trips, and two were across the country. There's no homework yet, so what do you guys do to pass the time?
KH: We're pretty goofy as a team. I feel like this team is a family. It's completely different, I've never actually had a team like this, where we're all super close. There have been so many funny things (laughs). Last trip before we were going to watch film a bunch of us were hiding in this one hallways for fifteen minutes, waiting to scare Kindra and Bianca, just hiding and not saying a word. Tui walked by and almost messed us up. Then we saw they were walking downstairs and weren't going to walk past (laughs). So just stupid little things like that, we laugh so hard all the time. Time flies pretty fast, the road trips are fun. Then when it's time to get serious it's a complete focus. But this team is really different and nice, the vibe is good.
GH: Any movie preferences or TV shows on the road?
KH: Right now we're all obsessed with Brothers and Sisters. We're all trying to catch up to season five because it starts on Sunday (laughs). We watch it in the lockerroom, before and after practice, after film; I took it home one time to try and finish one season and I got yelled at because everyone couldn't watch it that day. We're obsessed.
GH: Another important phase of your game is your serve. What makes a float serve effective, and how do you work on perfecting it?
KH: Jim and Keno are always talking to me on the sideline and saying "work them, work them". If we're making the other team work hard to run its offense, that's what we're trying to do. Hitting the seams, hitting the areas where we have our mats in practice every morning, that's pretty much a successful serve; just disrupting them so they can't pass and can't run their offense. Like everything else it's mechanics. If I get the mechanics down it's a really good day for me. Keno told me there's a limit with how hard you hit it. I have a problem with just wanting to hit the crap out of it, so I need to work on just working them and not trying to be a jump server.
GH: What kinds of classes will you be taking this fall?
KH: Comm classes. I'm in the public speaking class so that could be really bad for me. I'm nervous talking in front of a bunch of people. Otherwise my classes are good. I'm getting into the communications program this year hopefully, so that will be fun.
GH: You've lived a while in Seattle now so how well have you gotten to know the area?
KH: I love it here. In the summer we discovered all these new places. I got a new puppy this summer, so we've been going to Gasworks and he runs around. That's a favorite, it's so pretty there. It's so pretty here and so natural.
GH: What kind of dog did you get?
KH: A "cavapoo". He's a King Charles Cavalier (spaniel) and a poodle. He's really cute. His name's Charlie, he's like our team mascot.
GH: Do you have any pre-match rituals?
KH: I'm not really superstitious, but me and Jo have a pretty cool handshake we have to do once we get our jerseys on before a game. That's pretty much the only thing.
GH: Last year on GoHuskies you mentioned you were a big Twilight fan and wanted to go visit Forks. Have you made it out there yet?
KH: I haven't gone yet! I just got my car this year so hopefully it will be soon.
GH: Finally, what gets the most plays on your iPod these days?
KH: Drake is definitely up there. Chris Brown, and then Trey Songz's new cd. Our locker room stuff.