Sisters Kristi and Keri Kemp share a campus and love for athletics. Just don’t ask them to agree on which sport is best.
Kristi, a senior, has been playing Queens lacrosse since her freshman year. Keri, a junior, has been playing Queens volleyball since her freshman year.
Both have overcome injury and adversity.
Here are their stories:
Kristi Kemp: Juking Opponents and Shooting Goals
Kristi started her lacrosse career in middle school. She has played a variety of sports, ranging from cross-country, gymnastics, and cheerleading. But lacrosse brought her to Queens.
The oldest of three sisters, Kristi transferred to a different high school where her mom worked as a teacher and there was a better lacrosse program. In Lake Mary, Fla., she played lacrosse with now freshman Kenna Wick and recent graduate Caitlin O’Rourke.
When she first visited Queens she wasn’t really interested in enrolling because Queens didn’t have the major she was seeking. She changed her mind after O’Rourke talked up the university and lacrosse program.
Since she has started playing lacrosse at Queens she has made on-field adjustments. “In high school I played attack but since I can run I was put in midfield,” said Kristi. The midfield position can run onto both halves of the field, while the attack position can only run onto the offensive half of the field.
Her first year did not have a fairy tale beginning. She was homesick, missed her family and the lacrosse team didn’t have its own stadium yet.
But things looked up during her sophomore year. Keri enrolled at Queens, helping them both bond while away from home. It gave her a sense of family on campus because she was far away from home.
This was also the same year the new Sports Complex opened for the women’s and men’s lacrosse teams. The fan base started to grow last season, helping the team win. The women’s lacrosse team currently practices both on the Sports Complex turf and grass fields behind the freshman parking lot.
Kristi is finishing her biology degree and looking forward to a great season. After she graduates, she will make a decision whether she wants to attend graduate school or enter the workforce.
Keri Kemp: Setting Points and Jumping Over the Net
Keri started her volleyball career in high school
Keri, who is majoring in psychology, started here athletic career with cheerleading during Pop Warner games but switched over to volleyball at the same high school where Kristi played lacrosse her freshman year. She was being recruited by schools in Florida, but wanted to check out Queens. At first Keri didn’t want to go to the same university as her sister. Things changed though when she walked on campus and fell in love with the community.
Kristi and Keri tried to play each other’s sports. “I tried to teach her [Kristi] how to play volleyball but it doesn’t work,” said Keri. Kristi tried to teach Keri how to play lacrosse, using her as target practice as the goal keeper trying to stop Kristi’s shots.
At six-feet tall, Keri decided volleyball was a better choice.
Her freshman year was not the best way to start her volleyball career. Keri was red shirted her freshman year due to an injury. During her sophomore year, she says the team chemistry was not good and between her sophomore and junior year the team didn’t have a head coach.
During the off season, assistant coach Emily Carrara planned the workouts and team scheduling. “It made us stronger and closer,” said Keri.
While Queens was looking for a new head coach, Carrara acted as the interim head coach, making for a smooth transition for both the team and the coaching staff when new head coach Lettie Wilkes arrived. The volleyball team played last season in the Oven, attracting record-breaking numbers of fans. “Once we started winning, more people came,” said Keri.
Currently the volleyball team is practicing at the Cornwell Center in less than optimal conditions. The team doesn’t have a net to practice with and only gets half the gym. The volleyball team is hoping to play at Grady Cole Center for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.