CCHS graduate finished tied for second in the nation in hitting percentage

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County graduate Krissi Kemper, who is currently playing volleyball at Western Oregon University, was recently named a third-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

After years of work, Krissi Kemper is being recognized for her exploits on the volleyball court.
   The CCHS graduate was recently named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American team.
   “I was overwhelmed a little bit and I was proud of myself,” said Kemper. “I feel really honored and proud. My setter got me the ball at the right times and I kept my errors to a minimum.”
   Kemper, who plays middle blocker at Western Oregon University, was named to the NCAA?Division II third team. She is the first WOU player to be named to the AVCA All-American squad since the Wolves moved up to Division II several years ago.
   Kemper was also a unanimous first-team selection in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference after being on the second team each of her first two seasons at WOU.
   The 5-11 junior finished the season with 215 kills in 426 attempts while committing just 34 errors. Her .425 hitting percentage tied for second in the nation.
   “I was leading the nation in hitting until I had a couple of poor games,” Kemper said. “But I got over it. My coach really helped me with the mental stuff. He said ‘let my numbers reflect my play, don’t let my play be impacted by my numbers,’ and that really helped.”
   As an All-American, Kemper had the opportunity to attend the national championships in Pensacola, Fla.
   “I got to see some really good matches and attend a big banquet for all the All-Americans,” Kemper said.
   WOU?finished the season with a 21-6 overall record and was 14-4 in the GNAC.
   “It was a very successful season,” Kemper said. “My team really came together and we worked hard every day. We nearly made it to regionals.”
   Kemper thinks that the team has a good opportunity to reach the regional tournament next year.
   “We have some good people coming in,”?she said.
   With the new recruits, Kemper expects to move to outside hitter next year, which should give her more hitting opportunities. Her long term volleyball goal is to be able to play professionally in Europe once she is done with college.
   “I’m really short for a middle,” she said. “Moving to outside should really help.”
   Although she is proud of the recognition, Kemper was quick to add that she owes much of her success to others.
   “I love my support system,”?she said. “My family has always been there for me and the support system at Western is just incredible. They have helped me to be a better player and people there donated money so I could go to Pensacola. They paid for my airfare and motel so it didn’t cost me anything.”
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