MISENHEIMER — Kaylee Freed didn’t take long to make her impact on the college volleyball scene.
The 5’9” middle hitter signed with Pfeiffer University last spring after a recruiting battle that involved several small colleges and universities after an outstanding senior season for North Surry. As a freshman for the Falcons, Freed has proven that the interest in her services was justified, by quickly taking over as Pfeiffer’s starting middle hitter.
The Falcons, who are struggling in their recent transition to the USA South Conference, lost their first eight matches of the 2017 season, but earned their first win on Saturday, 3-1 against Mary Baldwin College. After pulling out a narrow 25-23 win in set one, the Falcons gained confidence and went on to the 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15 win in Weatherspoon Gym on the campus of Meredith College in Raleigh.
Freed, who started at middle hitter for Pfeiffer, played in three of the four sets and had four kills for the Falcons. She actually started off badly, committing a setting error and then an attack error on the first two points of the match, but then settled in, scoring her first kill on a 4-0 run that gave Pfeiffer the lead midway through the first set. With her team down 23-22 late in the set, she scored a block that tied things up, and got the kill on set point.
She played error-free ball and had another kill in set two as the Falcons took command of the match, but didn’t play in the third set that her team lost. Back on the floor at the start of set four, she was on serve during two runs of points that helped Pfeiffer take control and win both the set and the match.
Freed has started in every match for the Falcons, having earned a spot in preseason and retaining it even when the team had an unexpected coaching change three matches into the season. She had her first career kill early in Pfeiffer’s Sept. 2 season opener against Virginia Union, scoring on the match’s fourth point, and her first block later in that set.
Saturday’s win came a few hours after Pfeiffer had lost to Greensboro College in an earlier match of the quad-meet at Meredith.
Her career high in kills came on Sept. 9 in a match against John Wesley College, where she had five kills.
Three matches into the season, Pfeiffer head coach Paul Lawson resigned for family reasons and assistant Chris Kimura took over. The coaching change meant that the Falcons are now playing with just an interim head coach, a graduate assistant and a student assistant, but are continuing to play hard.
At North Surry, Freed had an outstanding 2016 senior season for the Lady Hounds, with 153 kills and 81 blocks on a team that won 25 matches. She signed with Pfeiffer on April 12, 2017, choosing them over four other suitors.