When Mountain State University volleyball coach Holly Mauldin makes her team's roster, you couldn't blame her if she just scribbled down "P" for the position of Carlyle's Brenna Coffey. That is "P" for "Player."
"Brenna is probably one of the more versatile players I have had," Mauldin wrote in an email interview. "I can put Brenna anywhere on the court and she will always play it to the best of her ability.She has had to play outside hitter, middle hitter, and setter all in one season and has done an awesome job. Every coach loves players with versatility and Brenna has a lot of it. She is a player that every coach would want on their team."
The MSU Cougars certainly have appreciated that the daughter of Cameron and Lois Coffey chose their Beckley, West Virginia school. The 5-foot-8 Coffey leads her team and is fourth, as of Oct. 31, in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in kills with an average of 2.9 per set. She is also 10th in the conference in hitting percentage.
"Brenna is a very smart hitterand can always see the open spots on the other side of the court," Mauldin wrote. "Also, Brenna has an amazing vertical and continues to improve onit."
When she rotates to the backrow, the squad employs her as a setter. This is a position that Coffey has not traditionally played. However, she is second on the team and eighth in the conference in assists with a 3.2 per set average.
"In preseason, we had our setter leave so I noticed that Brenna had really nice hands and decided to incorporate her in setting," Maudlin wrote. "Sheis very smart when it comes to setting and knows whois on with their hitting that game and who isn't."
Coffey also contributes in other ways. In the conference she is seventh in blocks per set (0.8), tied for eighth in digs per set (3.2) and tied for ninth in service ace average (0.4.) Although Coffey is a newcomer to the team - after spending two stellar seasons at Williston State College - she has emerged as a leader for the Cougars.
"All the other girls on the team really look up to her," Maudlin wrote. "She is always positive and never gets down on herself."
Last year at Williston State, Coffey was named the Mon-Dak Conference's Most Valuable Player and was twice selected to the all-conference team. During her two years there, Coffey earned a certificate in the North Dakota school's practical nursing program and was named to the Mon-Dak's all-academic team. She enjoyed her time at WSC and with the Lady Tetons.
"It allowed me to see what college volleyball was likeand pushed me to do my bestand to alwayswork hard to make myself a better player," Coffey wrote in an email interview.
There were several reasons that she chose Mountain State when it was time to leave the junior college for a four-year school. Coffey liked how Mountain State's enrolment of about 4,380 was larger than WSC's 932, which includes about 540 part-time students. As well, Coffey appreciated how Maudlin had just completed her own university volleyball career in 2008. She said the coach, a standout setter, knows the game well and can help her improve. As well, Coffey likes the mountains and trees that surround Beckley.
"The best thing about playing at Mountain State would be my team mates and new friends I made. The girls I play with are all really great and make the sport that much better to play!"
She is also enjoying continuing her studies in nursing. "The thing that interests me the most about nursing is being able to help others and interacting with the patients," Coffey wrote.
While volleyball has taken Coffey far, she is quick to give credit to those who helped her get there. She praised former Southeast Stingers coaches Trent Johnson and Mickey Adams for helping her develop her game. As well, she has appreciated the continual support and encouragement from her parents over the years.
"My parents have always supported me 100 percent," Coffey wrote. "When I was playing in Carlyle and playing club volleyball in Manor they would drive me across the province every weekend so I could play the sport I love to play. They never gave up on me and pushed me to always do my best. I would have never made it anywhere without them."