October 4, 2012

Victor is key to Logan volley, girls basketball squads


— Victors and a Champion have been leading the Logansport volleyball program in recent years. And the Berries are once again shooting for an elusive victorious championship in sectional play.

A key to the Berries’ hopes is senior starting left-side hitter Kiley Victor, the younger sister of former Berry standout Kelsey Victor, who is now a red-shirt sophomore volleyball player at Valparaiso and recently won MVP honors at IU’s Hoosier Classic.

Kiley’s father is Mark Victor, the Logansport boys basketball coach. Kiley’s mother, Sue Victor, was the first woman to receive an athletic scholarship at Purdue University as a basketball player. She also has experience coaching basketball as a head coach at Frontier and as an assistant at Logansport under Jerry Hoover in Hoover’s early years with the program.

Kiley’s brother, K.C. Victor, was a standout basketball player for the Berries.

“Both her parents are coaches. She’s been around sports all her life,” Hoover said. “She understands the game intrinsically. She’s a good player, a good team player.”

Hoover added that Kiley, like her siblings and parents, is a gifted athlete.

“I’m not sure she isn’t the best athlete in the school,” he said. “Pound for pound, inch for inch, I’m not sure is she is not the best athlete in Logansport High School. She’s a tremendous athlete, running and jumping, quickness and so forth.”

And Kiley is not afraid to mix it up against bigger players on the basketball court.

“I like the challenge,” she said. “I’m only 5-10, so it’s always fun to try and outrebound a bigger player.”

Hoover said Kiley is a versatile player as she’s key inside but will also often guard a team’s best player on the perimeter.

“In volleyball she’s dominant. In basketball her role is unsung,” Hoover said. “She’s a good defensive player, a good rebounder. She gets banged around. It’s not as much of a noticeable role that the average fan even appreciates, but she does a great job in basketball. ... She plays hurt. Bumps and bruises don’t bother her.

“She gets rid of problems for us. She’ll pick off a pass and turn it into points for us as quickly as anybody I’ve ever coached. ... She has an eternal optimistic attitude. Against Twin Lakes we were down two with two seconds to go in almost everybody in the gym had given up. She intercepts the ball, gets fouled and hits two free throws and we go to overtime and we win. And she was a sophomore. She never gives up.”

Kiley is one of four returning starters for Logan’s girls basketball team, joining classmate Rachel Jennings, junior Whitney Jennings — a 2014 Miss Basketball candidate — and sophomore Nakeya Penny in what could be a very special season for the Berries.

“We should be really good and show our true potential,” Kiley said.

In volleyball the Berries are 17-5 and 3-1 in the North Central Conference. Kiley leads the team in digs (180) and is second in kills (209).

“She’s unstoppable when she’s on,” Logan coach Jon Vernon said. “Her serving has improved a ton. She has really worked hard at serving. When she’s on her game and Alaina [Page] is complementing her and she’s hitting at the net we have a very good chance at winning. She hits hard and scores points in bunches.”

The following is a question-and-answer session with Victor.

Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?

A. It really just depends on the season. During volleyball it is volleyball and during basketball it is basketball.

Q. Have you ever played a sport that you were not successful at?

A. When I was younger I loved to swim so I tried it competitively and was terrible!

Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?

A. I have definitely become more coordinated. I grew pretty quickly so I wasn’t very graceful as a child.

Q. What experiences have you had in sports have made you the athlete you are today?

A. My whole family plays sports so there has been quite a bit of competition within our family. They make me want to strive to be better.

Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?

A. I have been to 45 of the 50 states. I have not been to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii or Alaska.

Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?

A. There are way too many to recall. But one that stands out is winning NCC’s for basketball last year.

Q. What’s your favorite music, movie, TV show, etc.?

A. Band: Mumford & Sons. Movie: She’s the Man. TV show: Awkward. Book: I don’t enjoy reading, so I would have to go with Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Team: Chicago Bears.

Q. Who is the best athlete in your respective sport you’ve ever gone up against?

A. Amanda Neill [who now plays volleyball at Purdue]. She graduated last year from McCutcheon but for volleyball and basketball she was one of the biggest threats to our team.

Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?

A. I haven’t decided exactly where yet but I am planning on attending college and majoring in elementary education.

• Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.