Cosy Burnett is a junior outside and opposite hitter at La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) who also plays for Coast Volleyball Club in San Diego, Calif. Her high school team competed in the state finals for Division II last season and she has competed at nationals five times with her club teams. In the latest installment of her blog, she features rookie sensation Kacey Nady.
This is my third and final blog on a volleyball player who achieved a high level of play (and college offers) after just one year of playing club.
I first saw Kacey Nady at Coast Volleyball tryouts last December. Since my high school team was still competing in CIF, I just came to watch. My eyes were immediately drawn to Kacey on the court. She looked about 6-foot-3 and absolutely dominated the net. Someone had tried to tip the ball over her huge block after being blocked by her several times in a row, and I remember her taking the ball and slamming it back over the net. Her athleticism was amazing and she jumped through the roof.
It was great to see a tall athlete so quick and light on her feet. The best part about watching Kacey was seeing what a great team player she was. She was positive and kept her teammates motivated, and her energy brought others up to her level.
Kacey has an amazing story. This is her first year playing competitive volleyball outside of school, and she moved out to San Diego to do it. Kacey, who plays for West Hills (Santee, Calif.), has sacrificed a lot to play the sport she loves, and you can tell that the volleyball court is where she belongs.
Meet Kacey Nady.
Cosy: What position do you play?
Kacey: Middle blocker for Coast 18-1 (Class of 2013)
Cosy: When did you start playing competitive volleyball? How long after you started playing did you get your first college offer?
Kacey: I played every year in high school, but it didn't become truly competitive until club began in December of 2011. On Dec. 6, University of North Carolina was the first to contact me and said they were very interested. So I guess a couple days after I began club.
Cosy: What came easiest and hardest for you?
Kacey: The easiest was connecting with the girls on my team. They were very welcoming and everyone was nice and friendly. The most difficult was adjusting to the speed of the game. At this level, the intensity is very high and it was a huge transition from only playing high school to now playing club. I had a hard time keeping up, whether it was transitioning off the net or timing the set just right. Many things were difficult for me, and I still have problems with some of them to this day!
Cosy: Who was the most influential person who believed in you and helped you get where you are?
Kacey: Definitely my mom because as soon as she knew I wanted to play club and follow my dream of playing college ball, she allowed me to move in a heartbeat. Many mothers would not do that for their child. Especially at the age of 16. We have a lot of trust in our relationship. She knew I could accomplish it if I set my mind to it, and I'm where I am now today because of her.
Cosy: Where did you live before moving to San Diego?
Kacey: I was born and raised in Yuma, Ariz.
Cosy: What were volleyball opportunities like in Yuma?
Kacey: Every high school had a volleyball team, but once the season was over for the high school, club was not offered in that town. So the opportunities to play were very slim.
Cosy: How did you choose San Diego?
Kacey:When I went to the U of A camp, coach David Rubio knew many people in San Diego, so there were many options. San Diego was the closest town that offered club, besides Phoenix. Also, I had a lot of family that lived in San Diego, including my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I moved up here and live with family friends.
Cosy: Is it hard to live on your own?
Kacey: Not seeing my mom every day is very difficult because she is the closest person to me in my life. She does come up to most of my tournaments, though. My entire life, I've been very independent, so living on my own wasn't too hard for me.
Cosy: What is your favorite thing about the game?
Kacey: I love that there is always room for improvement. We didn't start off the season too well, but with good coaching and the willingness to improve, we did. We practice so hard, then use all of our skill sets on the court that were learned in practice, and it is amazing to see the transformation.
Cosy: Where do you want to play for college? Already committed?
Kacey:My goal is anywhere in California that is Pac-12 -- Stanford, USC, UCLA or Cal. Right now, I'm staying in contact with the University of Oregon and I'm very interested in them, as well. But, no, I haven't committed quite yet.
Cosy: What advice do you have for those just starting the game?
Kacey: To anyone just beginning, I would say one of the most typical statements out there: "With dedication and perseverance, you can do anything you set your mind to." And especially, be patient! Whether it's with colleges or improving your game, things will come with time.
Read the previous installment of Cosy's blog – on rookie sensation Ashten Gooden-Smith – here.