By Ray Hamill — If an injured Kaylin Campbell can cause as many problems on the volleyball court as she did for her opponents in 2019, imagine what a healthy version of her can do this coming fall.
Campbell, who was an all-conference first-team selection for College of the Redwoods as a freshman, underwent knee surgery immediately after the season and is back as healthy as ever with eyes on closing out her time at CR with a bang.
Her coach certainly believes she will.
“I expect her to do very, very well in conference next season,” CR head coach Petra Lorenzi said. “She was one of the best middle blockers in conference (in 2019), and that was when she was injured.”
Campbell carried a knee injury through the season, putting off surgery until after the campaign was over, and she is back this spring feeling optimistic for the year ahead.
“She’s doing great,” Lorenzi said of the former Arcata Tiger, who red-shirted a year at Humboldt State before transferring to CR last year. “She’s running. She’s training hard.”
That’s a part of Campbell’s DNA.
“She’s just an athletic player that’s phenomenal to coach,” Lorenzi said. “She listens, she works hard, she puts in the time, she comes in in shape. She’s never out of shape.”
She’s also a popular player among her teammates and a team captain who leads by example.
“And she’s really competitive,” Lorenzi added.
The year at HSU helped prepare the former Tiger for her time at CR, and she joined the Corsairs with plenty of experience and college know-how.
“She had a year at HSU that adjusted her to the college game,” Lorenzi said. “It helped her adjust to the speed of the game and to where you have to be mentally at practice every day.”
Campbell is likely to get offers to take her game to a four-year school after her time at CR.
After leading the conference in kills per set last fall (2.86), she is one of four returning players for the Corsairs in 2020, joining Paula Mello, Sarah Malone and Lexi Goodman.
“I think she’s coming on stronger,” Lorenzi said. “She has a better understanding of what stuff she needs to be better at this year.”