A popular senior starter and returning All-Big 12 volleyball player, Chelsea Albers was mobbed by adoring grade school fans in the interview line after blasting a match-high 10 kills in Kansas University’s 3-0 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday in Horejsi Center.
“I know some little girls. They love her long hair. I’m like, ‘I guess you can be the favorite player, but it’s (because of) your hair,” fellow senior Sara McClinton theorized recently regarding the popularity of Albers, a 6-1 hitter from Papillion, Nebraska.
McClinton, who had six kills in the 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 decision, is well aware Albers brings more than her golden locks to the home court.
“Chelsea is super competitive. She wants to win,” McClinton, a human biology major from Omaha, Nebraska, said of Albers, an exercise science major who ranks in the top 10 in the Big 12 in kills and points per set. Albers is also third on KU’s team in digs and fourth in blocks.
“She serves. She passes. She hits. She’s a great blocker, too,” freshman Kelsie Payne said of Albers, who had 10 digs and seven block assists on a day KU (16-6, 4-4) outblocked (15-5, 3-5) Tech, 13.5 to 2.5.
“That is something I’ve focused on awhile,” Albers said of her blocking after helping hold Breeann David to eight kills. “It gets frustrating if it (blocking game) is not on. Once it’s on, it gets the ball rolling. I do enjoy that,” Albers added.
“I love volleyball, so every part of it I take pride in. I work hard to make my game more well-rounded. I hope to give more to my teammates than I take.”
KU, which served well on Saturday, committing just four errors, obviously blocked well. Tayler Soucie (four kills) had eight block assists and Payne five. Payne had seven kills.
KU has won four of its last five matches and is two games behind Kansas State and Oklahoma (6-2). Texas is 7-1.
“That’s not a terrible start. I think we can have a better (second) half of the conference,” Albers said. “I think that’s what we’re planning on doing, but as of now we’re in a good position to still do well in the conference and that’s what we are focused on.”