The athleticism that the Hornets bring to the volleyball court is valuable to the team’s success. For Emporia State this season, no one personifies this more than sophomore outside hitter Briana Kaiser.
“She’s so athletic,” said Bing Xu, head coach. “She has tremendous physical ability. She has all the tools and fundamentals, especially defense and passing… she has a lot of potential (and) is very talented and has a lot of natural ability.”
Growing up, Kaiser played many different sports including basketball, volleyball, track, softball and cheerleading. In junior high Kaiser said she realized that volleyball was her favorite sport. During high school she earned all-state tournament team, all-metro, MVP and was a four time letter winner in volleyball at Valley Center.
“In sixth grade I was playing intramural volleyball and quit cheerleading,” Kaiser said. Once finished with high school, Kaiser went to Wichita State for two seasons before transferring to ESU.
“I transferred here because I loved the nursing program after I visited,” Kaiser said. “Then volleyball just fit in and I love the game.”
This season, she has made a tremendous impression on both the coaches and the players.
“This year Briana has really stepped up,” said junior Meg Schwartz. “She is one of the leaders on the team. She makes a really big impact and we are really happy to have her here. She is definitely a dominating force on our team… she’s always there encouraging, always supporting the teammates and always has a really positive attitude.”
Although she has 243 kills and 333 digs so far this season, Kaiser seems to be modest. She strives to be a good team player and puts the needs of the team before individual stats or awards.
“Teamwork is the most important thing,” Kaiser said. “Just meshing together with the other girls is very important to me. We practice hard every day. We are a very new team so having that chemistry is vital to our success.”
Her teammates and coaches have noticed how important teamwork is to Briana.
“Everybody likes her,” Xu said. “She is really fun both on and off the court. She is always there joking with her teammates and the team chemistry is right there.”