SCC VOLLEYBALL STAR LOOMS LARGE
The Phins go through their postgame handshake line after notching a key upset win over #8 Bellevue. Nearly every player starts screaming.
Seemingly oblivious to the gravity of the moment, Kammi Perkins just smiles and calmly high-fives her teammates.
The soft-spoken freshman garners as little attention as is possible — especially for a woman who stands at 6 feet, 1 one inch tall.
Hitting percentage is one of most essential stats for volleyball players. Kills (attacks that win the point) minus errors (attacks that lose the point) divided by total attacks, measuring the efficiency of a player on offense.
In non-conference play this season, Perkins averaged under 2.5 kills per set with a hitting percentage barely over .150. Since Sept. 19, her 4.16 kills/set ranks fifth in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) and her hitting percentage has nearly doubled to .286.
That win at Bellevue College clinched a postseason berth for SCC, which will be their fourth straight playoff appearance.
Outside hitters such as Perkins generally remain in the game for all rotations, regardless of whether they are in the front or the back. Earlier this year, the Phins brought in a defensive specialist several times when Perkins rotated to the back.
When this fact is brought up, her warm, friendly demeanor sours slightly.
“Yeah, (being subbed out) did bother me,” she says. “I’m used to being an all-around player. But it pushed me to work harder to improve my defense.”
Perkins’ focus on reducing her weaknesses got her back into playing full-time. If her defense is good enough to play in the back row, her athleticism allows more options for the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball.
“(Her) attacking has really stepped up since she is playing all around,” says Co-Head Coach Mark West. “She can terminate points from the back row.”
The all-around improvements culminated in winning the NWAC North Region Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 8-14, when she racked up 37 kills and hit over .400 in two matches, including a season-high 22 kills in a key win at Skagit Valley.
Perkins grew up in Kenmore, WA and starred for Inglemoor throughout her high school career. She was named to the All-KingCo 4A first team in her final two seasons. High school teammate Marisa Miner played for SCC in 2016 and 2017 and gave a glowing review of her experience, which helped steer Perkins to SCC.
Perkins isn’t sure what lies ahead. She’s interested in studying business, but hasn’t narrowed down her specific academic goals. She isn’t planning to actively pursue volleyball after SCC, but, “If a really good opportunity came up, I might take that.”
The way she has played the past few weeks, she might get one.