Emily Koshinsky doesn’t look like a killer.
Yet there she is, once again leading the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s volleyball team in kills with 147 through 11 matches.
Who needs to be smashing pumpkins when you can be crushing volleyballs?
Koshinsky is a pure power-hitter.
She hits the ball very, very hard.
“It’s fun to watch,” says U of S Huskies women’s volleyball head coach Mark Dodds, whose team improved its Canada West record to 3-8 with a 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 18-25, 25-21,15-9) victory over the visiting University of British Columbia-Okanagan Heat on Friday.
“She’s dynamic. She’s fast-twitch. When she rips on the ball, you notice. It’s fun to coach. We need her to enhance the rest of her game a little bit — defensively she can get better — but when we have a player like that on the court, it’s sure fun to watch.”
Koshinsky, a native of Jansen, is into her third year with the Huskies. She finished her last two years of high school in Caronport after playing Grade 9 and 10 volleyball in Lanigan.
Koshinsky had 15 kills Friday, including the match-clinching kill in the decisive fifth set.
“It’s always fun to be relied on in a tough situation like that, but it feels good to get a win for everyone,” said Koshinsky, who relishes the thrill of a good kill.
“It’s so fun. When it feels like you can see everything and have control of what’s going on, it feels really good. I love that role. I love being relied on in the hard situations and being able to be that person who puts the ball away in those matches where it’s 24-24 or whatever the score may be.”
Koshinsky — who was the Saskatchewan Volleyball Association athlete of the year in 2013, 2014 and 2016 — is looking like an emerging star at the U Sports level.
She’s a three-time Huskie athlete of the week, but there’s a higher ceiling beyond that.
“She’s exceeding expectations,” Dodds said. “She’s a third-year player, going along and doing the things that she is doing is pretty impressive. I say some of the other stuff takes time. It takes experience. We know that in sports; I’m trying to rush her along as quickly as I can because we need her on the court.”
Dodds says he’s not surprised at how hard Koshinsky smashes the ball.
“She’s been that way since Grade 9 where she’s just got that shoulder and that athletic ability to hit the ball hard and you can’t teach that stuff,” noted Dodds. “As she gets stronger and is in the weight room, (the hits are) just getting harder and harder.
“She’s a good player and very skilled. I think she gets one-dimensional at times, so she needs to be as focused on the rest of the stuff as she is with attacking.”
The Huskies will close out the first term Saturday afternoon against UBC-Okanagan and a much-needed sweep would be sweet.
“It’s always hard in this league,” said Koshinsky, who played for Team Saskatchewan from 2013 to 2016 and played for Canada’s junior youth national development squad.
“This league is very hard but we’ve played very hard teams and we were kind of in a slump and now we’re working our way out. That game (Friday) wasn’t perfect, by any means. It would be very good (to get a sweep) heading into the break, just to have that relief that we can keep that momentum moving into the second half.”
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