BY BLAKE HEMPSTEAD
The all-time leading assassin in Copperhead volleyball will have her final hurrah in front of home family, friends and fans Saturday afternoon when the Orediggers take on Rocky Mountain College, the No. 1 NAIA team in the country. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. with Senior Day slated for a 1:30 p.m. start.
Krumm is the all-time leader in kills for the Copperheads, amassing a school record 842 as a four-year varsity letter winner, an amazing 201 kills clear of second place. In 2008, she set the season-high record of 396 as well.
At Tech, she’s continued to impress. Although this year her kills totals are behind other seasons in 2014, so are her errors and attacks. As a redshirt sophomore in 2012, Krumm had a career high 317 kills on 728 attack with 84 errors. This year, she has almost half of the attacks and a fourth of the errors despite continuing to rack up the kills. Comparing the two seasons, her kills/game have went down .83, but her total attacks/game have diminished by twice as much.
In layman’s terms what all the numbers mean is despite getting set less, Krumm continues to put up quality numbers for her middle blocker position. This year, she has a .409 attack percentage, which would lead the Frontier Conference if not for failing to qualify due to the frequency of sets (stats require 66 percent of teams offense to be considered).
What’s more remarkable is how Krumm, a nursing major at Montana Tech, manages to accomplish such accolades. The official program recognizes her at 5-foot-9 and playing middle blocker at this level is amazing in itself, however when she’s actually more like 5-7 makes it that much more impressive. Athletically, no middle in the Frontier, or maybe the country, can match her ability to get off the ground.
Taking into account every middle blocker in the Frontier, starter or reserve, Krumm is the smallest in terms of height. Actually she’s the shortest front line player with significant statistical data as well, and would be at the bottom half of the Frontier at setter if she were to use her hight as a measurable. With 31 players recognized as Middle Hitter or Middle Blocker, depending on the offense or how a coach lists the player, the average height of the position is 72.4 inches tall, or a little taller than 6-foot. But when you look at the rosters that have playing time associated with the position, there’s nobody less than 6-1 or 6-2 that’s an impact player.
Unless your name is Korey Krumm.
Krumm has made the most of her lack of height by working to improve her amazing jumping ability, and the frequency she can repeat it. Being a middle at the collegiate level mean covering inside leverage of a double block on either side of the net or protecting the heart of the defense — and they need to do so knowing that most of the offense won’t be geared towards them. And yet, she continues to be an impact.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
I’ve loved Korey’s passion for the game since she was a freshman in high school playing under then head coach Joe Mehrens. She’s always raised eyebrows, (mostly for those awkwardly huge feet!) but she’s done it being as humble and modest as possible. Being on a losing team, albeit in a brutally tough Frontier Conference, has been trying, but Krumm remains upbeat. Seeing Korey question her ability through her senior season has been tough as the losses have piled up, but it’s been a pleasure watching “the midget in the middle” play every match. Korey is one of the greatest women’s athletes to ever come out of Anaconda, just imagine if her heart and athletic ability was surrounded by a 6-foot frame. She leads her team in hitting percentage and is second in total points scored and third in points/game. Luckily, we don’t have to wonder what could have been with Korey, she’s been THAT good. She’s approachable and fun, and what you see with Korey is what you get — including the trucker vocabulary! Anaconda is lucky to have such a positive role model for young girls and I can only hope my own daughter will wear the Nos. 21 or 8 and go about balancing the sometimes hectic life a student athlete has to lead exactly how Korey has done it.
Throwing it back, here’s the last time she was a senior. Hopefully everyone enjoys the trip down memory lane as much as I do. Remember, Anaconda took second place that season, falling to Billings Central (the only two losses they recorded that season) at the 2009 State tournament.
Congratulations on the great career Korey and thanks for remembering your roots through it all. Copperhead Pride never meant so much!