Manistee’s Kelley Rewards Coach’s Faith on Volleyball Court


MANISTEE – Amanda Kelley may be working harder than ever on the volleyball court this fall, but she’s having fun doing it on a winning team and under the guidance of a self-confident coach.

To be fair, Kelley admits she didn’t have a lot of expectations heading into her final year for the Manistee Chippewas. Kelley sat on the bench last year on a losing team, and coming in this year she said she was just hoping to win at least one game.

Kelley and the Chips are only two weeks into their season, and they have already won three games, and to her surprise, Kelley is the starting Libero.

All of this, Kelley attributes to new Manistee coach Brooke Richards.

“We have a coach who is amazing at what she does,” Kelley said. “She played college volleyball so she knows what she’s doing. She’s really good at teaching us and is a good coach. Without it, I wouldn’t know how to serve or pass. It pretty much brought me to where I am today.

Where Kelley is today does not just start for the Chippewas, but also plays an important role for them.

Richards said Kelley played a “phenomenal” role in Manistee’s recent victory at Benzie Central on Aug.31 and said she passed the pass almost perfectly in the game.

Kelley has never really practiced the role of a libero until this year, but she has embraced that mindset.

“I have always liked to pass. I just didn’t think it would get me where I am now, ”Kelley said. “I like being able to help the team in any way I can. It’s a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure and being able to go around and help everyone out as much as I can.

Kelley added that it’s exciting to have a coach who believes in her.

“I have never been a libero. I barely managed to pass or serve so the fact that she picked me as a Libero is honestly very honoring, ”Kelley said.

Richards said she identified Kelley for the role almost instantly.

“I started working with her in March. She came to a clinic at the Armory, and she was just very coachable and listened to everything I had to say, ”said Richards.

Richards said she saw Kelley several times during the month of March, and that was all she needed to see.

“I had known since March that I was going to start it,” said Richards. “I didn’t really have any doubts in my head. It was just a matter of whether she was going to take it and run with it or not.

Kelley ran with it, and going forward, Richards believes Kelley could potentially collect playoff awards and really help his team.

“If she continues to work hard on her serve and defense, as she has been, it will be difficult to drop the ball into our field with her play,” said Richards.

Richards added that it was fun to watch Kelley develop and start believing in herself on the pitch.

“It’s really great to see her improve and to see her confidence grow,” said Richards. “She just needed a boost and someone to know what he was doing and believe in her.” She sort of ran with it and is doing just fine. It has been really cool to watch her grow as a player and a leader on the pitch. “

“With the whole team, not just Amanda, I don’t think they realize the potential they have,” Richards continued. “They just needed someone to get it out of them. It’s really awesome, a lot of fun.


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