By Jeremy Holaday
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Throughout her high school career, Kelsey Chipman's athletic ability helped her excel on the court. Courts, actually - basketball and volleyball.
Kelsey's father Bob is basketball coach at Division II Washburn University. Her decision on which sport to pursue was helped with her dad's blessing.
"There was one day when he just said, 'Hey you know I don't care right?' " Chipman said. "I said OK and from then on I got a little more interested in volleyball and got more offers to college through volleyball and I just decided to go that way."
The decision to play volleyball has not been regrettable. Going into this weekend's match with Iowa State, Chipman needs just seven blocks to surpass Kelle Branting for third all-time on the career block-assist list.
Chipman has tallied 402 in her career - 29 short of second all-time - and she needs just 49 to move into the Big 12 Conference's top 10 list.
"I didn't even really know about how close I was," Chipman said. "I hope it is just a reflection of how hard (Kansas State coach) Suzie (Fritz) has made me work. She continues to push all of us and it has just been a great experience here."
The middle blocker position requires a defensive-minded player.In basketball, Chipman was named to the All-Centennial League Defensive Team and Defensive Player of The Year as a high school senior. Defense is just something that drives Chipman on the court.
"I am just a competitive person. I hate when people score on me," Chipman said.
The 6-foot-1 senior was named to the Pre-Season All-Big 12 Team and has already been honored for her top performances this season while proving that she is much more than a block specialist.
At the BYU Nike Classic, Chipman hit .405 and pounded out a total of 43 kills in three matches. Plus, her double-double - 13 kills, 10 digs - helped her earn tournament MVP honors.
The Topeka, Kan. native has played in 310 games in her career and that experience enhances her abilities.
"I think her ability to set or slide is a huge thing that opposing coaches have to pay attention to," Fritz said. "She is the captain of our front row and the staple of our program. She instructs where the block is going to be and recognizes where the hitter is coming from."
Defending a kill is something that Chipman has made an art of and getting a kill is no different. Kelsey is also one of the most accurate hitters in Wildcat history, ranking fifth all-time with a percentage of .327. She is hitting .355 so far this season.
Asked if she enjoys getting a shut-down block or a court-crushing kill it wasn't an easy answer, Chipman the choice was like the one she made when deciding on her favorite sport.
"That is a good question," admitted Chipman. "That is like ice cream or cookies. But, probably a kill."