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Humphreys assists Sea Kings' success

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

CdM junior, from a family of setters, helped team win Battle of the Bay for second straight year.

September 23, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

Take a quick look at Kelsey Humphreys' volleyball career, and it appears the Corona del Mar High junior has been set up for success.

Her mother, aunt and older cousin have also been setters, and very successful ones at that.

Humphreys is a setter too. She's also her own person, which she said is part of the reason nearly five years ago she made the decision to switch volleyball clubs, from Orange County to Laguna Beach.

When your mother won national titles with OCVBC in the early 1980s and starred at Stanford, people – fairly or unfairly – can have certain expectations. Club volleyball can be a close-knit community.

"Everyone always referred to me as, 'Oh, that's Wendy Rush's daughter' or something like that," Humphreys said. "I just wanted to make my own path in volleyball. As much as I wanted to be like her, I also wanted to be a different player."

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All the Sea Kings know is that they're happy she's on the court. Humphreys played an instrumental role as Corona del Mar won the Battle of the Bay for the second straight year on Sept. 21. She had a team-high 43 assists and served tough with four service aces as the Sea Kings topped Newport Harbor in four sets, 25-27, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19.

Humphreys also has high expectations for herself. The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week helped CdM, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I-A coaches' poll, She is the same girl who made her first varsity start in last year's Battle of the Bay and helped the Sea Kings sweep at home, winning the rivalry match for the first time since 2004.

She is establishing her game on her own terms, but she doesn't mind talking about her volleyball bloodline. Her mother, Wendy, was a CIF Southern Section Division 1-A Player of the Year in 1981 and '82 for Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World, and Division 2-A Player of the Year '83. Rim of the World went on to win CIF Southern Section and Division II state titles each year.

Wendy Humphreys (then Rush) went on to star at Stanford, where she was a four-time All-American and is second on the Stanford all-time list in assists (5,003). She was inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

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