Jasmine Keene, Poly, volleyball

Q&A --

October 25, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN

A senior at Poly, Keene is a multi-dimensional player for the Engineers' No. 14 volleyball team. A veteran of the Starlings Volleyball Club, she is excellent at back-row defense but is also an offensive threat thanks to a big vertical leap and a powerful arm. Keene has a 3.7 grade point average and participates in the WORTHY (Worthwhile To Help High School Youth) Program, in which she learns about various engineering fields at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. She also plays softball and runs indoor track.

What's the key to being a successful hitter when you're 5 feet 2 1/2 ?

You really have to jump. That's pretty much it. When I jump, it's almost as if I'm as big as the other girls. If I can jump and clear the net, I can pretty much get the job done just as well.

Do you like playing defense?

Defense is pretty fun. If I'm having a bad game offensively, it's like, "If I'm not hitting much, you're not going to hit much, either. If you hit it, I'm going to dig it." When I was in 10th grade, I think I was a better hitter, then I kind of picked up in the defensive area.

What feels better -- getting the big kill or the big dig?

It's all the same. Either way, you're contributing to the team. If you get a big kill, yeah, it's all good, you got a point, and if you get the dig, then you're setting up another chance for someone else to get the kill. If you don't play defense, you can't get a big kill.

The Engineers are undefeated this fall. What's the chemistry like on this team?

A lot of us played Starlings, so a lot of us have played together for four years now. Me, Joi [Upton], Andrea [Robinson] and Elisha [Clayton] all play Starlings, and Erin [Cox] played club, too, but she wasn't on our team. We see so much of each other it makes it easy to go on the court and talk to each other.

What do you do in the WORTHY program?

I go to WORTHY once a month, and I work on a project related to engineering. One of my main reasons for applying to the WORTHY program was I wanted to find out what I want to do. By being in the WORTHY program, there's a lot of hands-on experience involved and you get to see a lot of people at work in the different areas, so it's helping me.

What's your career goal?

It's still a little iffy, but I think I want to go into mechanical or biomedical engineering.

What colleges are you considering?

Johns Hopkins, because of the Baltimore Scholars program [which would pay full tuition], but I'm also looking at Howard and MIT.

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