Nelson making transition from volleyball to basketball

LEROY — Kassy Nelson and her Pine River girls basketball teammates started practices on Monday, although she would have preferred to be on the volleyball court this week.

That’s because this is regionals week for volleyball and Nelson’s Bucks had a premature ending to their season last week in a 3-0 district loss to Beal City.

“The third game, we started off well,” Nelson, a junior said. “The first two, the jitters got to us and we didn’t play up to our abilities.”

Beal City was Highland Conference champs, had defeated Pine River during the regular season and is considered to be a possible state contender.

“We weren’t over confident,” Nelson said. “But the nerves just got to us.”

But it was a better performance for the Bucks against Beal City compared to the regular season, Nelson agreed, adding that the team improved dramatically since practices started in August.

“During the summer, we couldn’t pass the ball,” she said. “But service receive became the best part of our game. Each game, we got better. We improved in every aspect of the sport. Our setter-hitter communication got better. We started to play as a unit.”

Nelson said she was personally happy with her serve receive as much as anything else.

She smiled when she was asked how long it would take her to transition from volleyball to basketball.

“Not long at all,” Nelson said. “I’m excited.”

Nelson will have one season remaining for volleyball.

“We’re losing quite a bit,” she said. “We lose our setter, and one of our middles, right side and a really good outside in Michelle (Kelsey). We have a lot of ground to make up.”