Thursday, November 10, 2011

Washington's Austin, TX recruit has Seattle roots

This afternoon, Volleyblog Seattle spoke by phone to University of Washington recruit Katy Beals. The senior setter had just completed the day’s practice at Lake Travis High School, located in Central Texas Hill Country, just west of Austin. Lake Travis is the defending 4A Texas State Champion; the team is undefeated this season, and will play in the state tournament round of 16 on Saturday.
When and where did you sign your National Letter of Intent?
Yesterday at 12:30, I signed along with seven other of my teammates who are seniors. We signed at our school; we had a big ceremony. It was really cool. Parents, grandparents and a bunch of our friends came out.
Washington recruit Katy Beals, flanked by her parents, signing her Letter of Intent during ceremonies at Lake Travis (TX) High School
Why Washington?
I was actually born in Seattle (Swedish Hospital). And even though we only lived there for a year, we have a lot of family and friends who live up there. And I’ve always admired and loved U-Dub, and wanted to come back. As I started playing volleyball, I started following the Huskies’ program, and just knew that I wanted to be there even more. My dad went to WSU, so it’s a big rivalry between me and him!
What do you think of last year’s recruits, Summer Ross and Krista Vansant?
I think they’re awesome. To be able to start at Washington as freshmen, that’s incredible. I look up to them and admire them a lot. I actually got to meet Krista at (Washington Coach) Jim McLaughlin’s summer camp, and she’s really cool, I like her a lot.
Libero Cassie Strickland, who also signed a Washington volleyball letter of intent yesterday, was once a middle linebacker on a boys’ Pop Warner football team.
I know. I heard about that. She must be one tough girl. She was at camp too. I like her a lot, she’s really funny.
Do you know Austin’s Becky Perry, who graduated last season after four years at Washington?
Yes! She trained this past December at Austin Juniors (volleyball club). We talked about U-Dub. We’re Facebook friends, so she liked my status when I decided to commit to U-Dub. I look up to her a lot and admire her.
Coach McLaughlin is using a 6/2 (two-setter offense) this season at Washington. Any thoughts about playing in a 6/2?
In high school we play a 6/2. Whatever works for the team and whatever gives you the best opportunity to win, I think they should go with that. Whatever Jim decides to do, I’ll go along.
SXSW (Austin’s South by Southwest music festival) or Seafair?
I actually have never heard of Seafair. A lot of my friends go to SXSW, but I’ve never been. Maybe once I get up to Seattle, I can go to Seafair and see what it’s like.
* * *
Volleyblog Seattle also spoke about Beals with Lake Travis High School Volleyball Coach Jennifer Kazmierski.
Kazmierski runs a 6/2 (two setters) offense, just like Washington does this season. Beals sets when she rotates to the back row, and hits right side when she’s in the front. Kazmierski likes to take advantage of both Beals’ hitting and her blocking.
“I have a middle who’s 6’2; Katy’s 6’1. And she plays, probably, the highest out of all our kids. If you look at pictures of her blocking, she’s up over the net.”
Other Kazmierski observations:
  • “Katy doesn't know the word ‘stop;’ she will run down any ball.”
  • “She constantly pushes herself with every touch to get better, and to figure out what her range is, what she can do from different parts of the court.”
  • “She’s one of those kids who manages her team so well, which is one of the reasons I think she’s so successful as she is, as a setter. She manages the middles really well; she gets them to drive all the time. She’s got a great relationship with her outsides.”
  • “She’s very creative offensively, getting her hitters to move into different zones, running fast sets. She understands the game. I think being a hitter, too, gives her a greater appreciation for her job as a setter.”
  • “I’m excited for Katy, she’s gonna have a great career at U-Dub.”

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