Throughout the 2018-19 season, Laker Athletics will be launching a series of feature stories highlighting our student-athletes and their accomplishments on the playing surface, in the classroom and in the community.
Our first "Laker Spotlight" installment, LSSU volleyball's sophomore outside hitter, Kyra Vezina.
Mike Barrett , LSSULakers.com
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — As the Lake Superior State women's volleyball team embarks on its 2018-19 season, the players, both as a team and individually, have goals in mind for the upcoming campaign.
For Kyra Vezina, the goal for the season is to continue building off of an impressive freshman season.
During her freshman campaign, Vezina appeared in 22 of the Lakers' 25 matches, starting in 13 of them. By the end of the season, she had accumulated 121 points — good for fourth on the team.
Statistically, Vezina made her mark on the 2017 squad, as her 113 kills trailed only Amanda Reid and Brooke Williams, the latter of whom graduated last spring.
"It was great to get playing time as a freshman," remarked Vezina. "I wasn't really expecting that when I first got here."
After making her first collegiate start on September 23rd against Tiffin, Vezina started in all but two of the remaining matches for Lake Superior. This included a win over Ohio Dominican at the Midwest Region Crossover, where she earned a season high 18 points and a win over Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) newcomers Purdue Northwest — the first conference win for Lake Superior since 2014.
"Getting that conference win against Purdue Northwest was great," reflected Vezina.
Hailing from Northport, Mich., near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, Vezina first caught the attention of the Lake Superior volleyball program when she attended a summer camp.
"Before my senior year of high school, I came up [to LSSU] for a volleyball camp," said Vezina. "The coach at the time saw me and kept in touch."
But the graduate of Suttons Bay High School has shown proficiency in more than just volleyball and academics. Vezina is also an accomplished musician, having learned the piano at an early age.
"In the fifth grade, I joined the school band and began playing the clarinet. I kept on it through middle and high school, eventually becoming section leader."
Besides the clarinet and piano, Vezina has ventured into the string family of instruments, playing the guitar (both acoustic and electric) and the ukulele.
For the guitar, Vezina says she drew inspiration from her father, who also is a guitarist. She also stated that her parents "believe that music has a strong tie in with academics."
At Lake State, she has pulled out the guitar on occasion, including playing at Jitters, a periodic on-campus event involving music and coffee.
A marketing major, Vezina is looking forward to delving into major specific classes this year.
"It was good to get the general education requirements out of the way, and now I'll be getting into the marketing classes," remarked Vezina.
Although the squad has only a few games under its belt at this point in the young season, Vezina believes the team has good chemistry, as seen in practices.
"There are some good freshmen on the team this year and they're working well with us," commented Vezina.
The 2018-19 volleyball team makes its home debut on Friday, September 7th, when they face the Northern Michigan Wildcats in conference play. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
For ticket information, visit lssulakers.com or calls the ticket office at 906-635-2601.
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