Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Kiki Rivers leaves behind a colossal chasm for the Goose Creek volleyball program to fill.
The senior signed a national letter of intent last week and will further her career at Claflin.
“Kiki was a big, instrumental part of why we’ve been to the playoffs the last three years and made it to the second round in each of those,” Goose Creek coach Jay Watterworth said. “Losing her nearly 400 kills, her blocks and her attitude at the net is going to hurt us… I’m going to miss her a lot.”
Rivers helped lead the Lady Gators to 23 wins and a second-place finish in Region 7-AAAA this past fall. She capped the season with an appearance in the North-South all-star volleyball matches.
Rivers finished her senior season with 363 kills, 219 digs and 68 blocks.
Her versatility and athletic ability made her a cornerstone for the Lady Gators. When they needed something good to happen, she was often there to make it happen.
“She’s primarily a middle blocker but when we are in serve receive, we line her up all over,” Watterworth said. “Some times she’ll outside for one. She’ll hit middle. She’ll hit on the right side. She’ll run different things like slides and quicks. She can hit from anywhere she wants.”
Claflin has plans to use Rivers at middle blocker.
“But I told them that if they really needed a right-side hitter, she’d be great at that because she’d be blocking their best player,” Watterworth said.
The Lady Panthers finished 21-13 last season and finished third in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. They are set to return all but one senior for the 2013 campaign.
“The biggest difference (between high school and college) is that she’s been the best without having to really work at it here,” Watterworth said. “There, all the girls are good or they wouldn’t be playing college volleyball. She can’t say I’m tired today or I don’t feel good. She’s going to have to work her butt off. If she does what she’s supposed to do, I have no doubt she’ll start as a freshman.”