Meet The Athletes: Kailey Smith

The setter position in volleyball requires a player to be cool, calm and collected on the court. These are all qualities that can be found in senior graphic design major Kailey Smith.

Smith is continuing her senior year with the Francis Marion University (FMU) women’s volleyball team as they work their way to the top of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).

A native of Washington, Smith has been playing volleyball since the age of 8 and her experience has helped on the court.

“When I was younger I used to show more emotion on the court,” Smith said. “But now with more experience,  I’ve learned to maintain my composure because my emotions rub off on the other players.”

This state of calmness is very important for the position that she plays. Her position is compared to the quarterback position in football or the point guard in basketball. She has to see the whole court and know how to set up plays. It is important that the setter can understand what the opposing team may do.

Head Women’s Volleyball coach Paul McDonald explained how Smith’s calm attitude helps during games.

“We know that her emotion won’t overly influence her decision making,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald said that Smith, along with the rest of the team, plays with a “fast style of play.” He coaches the team to “play balls that will be hard for the opposing team to defend”.

MacDonald said that Smith continues to improve on the court and is learning about the game continually.

Kailey is the current leader of the PBC in average assists per set with an average of 10.75 and is fourth in the PBC for assists with 215.

She received the PBC Specialist of the week award for the second year in a row this season for the week ending Sept 9.

“I couldn’t have gotten it without my amazing teammates because they make me look
that much better when we play,” Smith said.

Smith is a team player and that is shown in the way that she plays. She said playing on a team is why she enjoys volleyball so much.

Smith played volleyball at Arizona Western College (AWC) for her first two years and transferred to FMU last year. She was joined by her current teammate Shelby Jones who also played at AWC.

Smith explained that having Jones with her on the team at FMU has helped with the transition between the east and west coasts.

“It was a huge change for me to come to the east coast so having her here with me has helped so much,” Smith said.

Outside of volleyball, Smith enjoys “artsy” activities such as photography. This is related to her degree, graphic design, and she said she would love to get a job designing layouts for a magazine.

Smith said she has been lucky to get the experience of living on both coasts of the United States.

Smith’s goals for the season include the team winning the PBC and making it to the national tournament.

The team is currently 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the PBC. The team will take on Georgia College at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 in the UniversityCenter.