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Ganado alumna emerging as a leader for Rust College volleyball

By Barbara Boxleitner
Special to the Times


Michelene Coleman needed little time to prove herself as a Rust College women’s volleyball team leader.

Courtesy photo | Rust College Athletics
Former Ganado standout Michelene Coleman was named co-captain for the Rust College women’s volleyball team.

In her first season with the team, the junior out of Ganado High School entered weekend play first or second in multiple offensive and defensive categories.

And the 5-foot-10 middle blocker has been a co-captain since midseason, she said, a choice the coach and players made.

“Our coach didn’t want to decide too early,” she said. “I’m grateful that they chose me as someone to look up to, keeping the team together.”

During the spring, Coleman said she contacted the volleyball coach about joining the team. She practiced with sisters and teammates Jasmine and Jamika Coleman four days a week to prepare for the season.

She began the weekend tied for first on the team with 60 sets played and ranked first in blocks and service aces. She ranked second in kills per set and first in hitting percentage among the players with 33 or more sets played.

Coleman had at least 11 kills in three matches, with a season-high 12 kills in a loss to Philander Smith. She also had a season-high 13 digs for her first double-double.

Her hitting has been helped by her ability to read the other team’s defense. The team’s strategy has been to “convert on one,” she said, noting that players are trying to score on the first play.

“I really have been focusing on trying to put the ball down so our team can have better scoring,” she said.

Her jump serve has contributed to her scoring as well. A jump server, she has improved by ensuring the ball toss is consistent.

She had three or more service aces in four matches. Her season-high five aces came in a loss to Lane, when she led all players in that category and tied for the match high with four aces in a loss to Philander Smith. “I place the ball,” she said.

Defensively, fundamentals have made a difference in her blocking and digging. “My blocking has improved,” she said. “Getting there quicker. I am reading the set.”

Coleman led all players with seven blocks, her season high, in a loss to Wiley, and twice had six blocks to lead the team.

She had eight or more digs in three matches, twice reaching at least 10 digs. “Being in the right position and waiting for the ball,” she said. “Holding my platform and trying to move my feet.”

Once the season is finished, she said she is considering competing in the shot put and discus for the track and field team.

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