Kenzie Koerber thinks she made the right decision to switch to BYU women’s volleyball
Koerber transferred from the University of Utah, where she played for years and appeared twice in the Sweet 16.
Provo • It was a year of transition for Kenzie Koerber.
The graduate forward of the BYU women’s volleyball team transferred there over the summer after playing for years at the University of Utah. She was one of the leaders of a Utes team that twice qualified for the Sweet 16 during her tenure.
But she left Salt Lake City and headed south to Provo because she converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wanted to be in an environment with more people sharing same ideas. When she arrived, she was expected to be essentially the leader of the 2021 Cougars, who begin their NCAA tournament on Saturday against Boise State at Smith Fieldhouse.
In no time as a Cougar, she has already helped lift a team that played in the Sweet 16 in April.
“She’s very competitive and has a strong arm, and she knows the game of volleyball,” junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting said of Koerber. “She played at a high level for a long time. So having this in our gym every day to play against is really important to getting better and it helps all the girls get better.
Koerber said playing at BYU allowed her to have her best season as a volleyball player both statistically and personally. Her hit percentage and kill counts per streak have increased, and she’s been tickled by times when fans stop her at the grocery store and enthusiastically ask her, “Are you No.4?
“It’s kind of cool that here, it’s a bit more of a tight-knit community where everyone knows about volleyball, everyone knows about BYU sports,” Koerber said.
Cougars coach Heather Olmstead described Koerber as a competitor and a “great human being.” Gneiting said she is a genuine person and has done a great job connecting with each of her teammates throughout the season.
And when it comes to being on the pitch, Olmstead described how much Koerber has brought to BYU.
“I think being able to count on Kenzie to get a pass when we need it and lean on her to kill at a crucial time, I think that gives others confidence,” Olmstead said. “We can always reach out to other people when needed, but we know she wants the ball and she loves those times when the game is on the line.”
It seems clear that while it will end up being short, Koerber’s transition year has been a success.
“It was great and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I’m very happy I made the decision to come here,” she said.
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