Double-duty in store for Smith at W.Va. State
WILLIAMSTOWN -When it comes down to athletics, Kenzie Smith doesn’t stop at just one.
The senior from Williamstown High School recently signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in two sports at the Division II level for West Virginia State University.
In addition to playing for volleyball for coach Shannon Gerencir, Smith also has decided to showcase her ability on the basketball court for coach David Smith.
Kenzie Smith, who earned a spot on Class A’s second team all-state in volleyball, will join another Williamstown teammate in Brooke Cieslewski as part of the West Virginia State volleyball program.
“After we won the state tournament in volleyball, the West Virginia State coach was at our match and since she graduated a lot of seniors she wanted to take our whole team of seniors,” said Smith, who is the daughter of Tammy Smith.
Smith will continue to play a role on the front line. She actually began her volleyball career as a setter, but when coach Rachelle Pallini arrived at Williamstown she utilized Smith’s leaping ability.
“Other coaches didn’t think I could be a good hitter and that I couldn’t jump very high – they had no faith in me,” Smith said. “Coach Pallini needed hitters, so I gave it a try. Low and behold, I got to be pretty good at hitting.
“Coach Pallini helped me a lot. I’m so sad I only had her for two years. She took a whole team and did a 360. We never would have won state without her.”
Smith’s accomplishments at the varsity level in high school girls basketball were equally as impressive. She played on the Yellowjackets’ team which advanced to the Final Four in 2012 and the Elite Eight in 2013.
The native of Canada became the seventh leading scorer in the history of the program and finished with 1,167 points. She also made 105 field goals from beyond the 3-point line, which puts her in sixth place all-time.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I would go to varsity games and look at the banner (for 1,000-point scorers),” Smith said. “I wanted my name up there one day. When I got the varsity level, I talked to (former Williamstown standout Liz Flowers) and asked her what I had to do to get up there. She gave me pointers and so I worked toward that my whole basketball career.”
With her desire to someday become a volleyball or basketball coach, or both, Smith is going to major in education. She already has done some role-playing in the coaching circles thanks to her high school coach, Fred Sauro.
“I was coach for a day,” Smith said. “Since I was one of those girls starting at the varsity level at one time, it was really easy to relate how they were feeling.”