BY MASON PLUMMER | Lead Writer | Ball State Sports Link
In the second edition of this new series for Ball State Sports Link, men’s volleyball star Kaleb Jenness took the time to sit down and discuss his ‘5 Things’.
The 6-foot-6, 170-pound junior out of Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Wando has been a star for the Cardinals since he first stepped on campus as a young freshman.
Playing as an outside attacker, Jenness has over 500 kills to his name as a member of the Ball State men’s volleyball team.
Named to the All-MIVA First Team in 2020, Jenness appeared in 17 matches and 59 sets with a career-high 26 kills against George Mason.
He totaled a team-high 246 kills for the year, more than his freshman campaign, even with the 2020 season being cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He’s also the reigning Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Offensive Player of the week after leading the Cardinals to a 7-1 overall and 4-0 MIVA record.
Jenness is very much as a dog person and he believes his life would go astray without his one-year-old golden retriever, Kobe.
He has been a dog-lover since he can remember and being from South Carolina, having Kobe at Ball State with him has made Muncie feel more like his home away from home.
“Kobe means a lot to me and is always here for me,” Jenness said.
I have a feeling this one might be a consistent pick in each and every ‘5 Things’.
One of the things Jenness listed he can’t live without was his iPhone, understandably.
Being so far from home and not being able to see his friends and family is tough, so Jenness uses his phone’s features to stay in contact with people back home.
“I like staying in contact with people using social media,” Jenness said. “Snapchat is the main one I use a lot. I just recently got Twitter and of course I had to get the latest craze, TikTok.”
Growing up as a volleyball player and now as a star outside hitter for Ball State, it was always going to make the list.
With practices and games nearly everyday during his season, Jenness is touching a volleyball multiple times everyday and knows his life would not nearly be the same without it.
“Back at home I play sand volleyball, obviously I play indoor volleyball here and then I play some grass volleyball during the summers as well,” Jenness explained. “It has always been a huge part of my life and I have been playing pretty much every day since I can remember.”
Jenness’ parents were among the first things he mentioned as things, or people in this case, that he can’t live without.
“They have sacrificed a lot for me and have always been great parents,” he said. “They have always been there for me when I need them. There was even times when I was playing in Atlanta when they would drive me five hours back and forth so I could go play.”
Being from South Carolina, Jenness was willing to do whatever it takes to get noticed and it paid off handsomely with him now starring for one of the premier collegiate men’s volleyball programs.
He refused to take credit though, deflecting all credit towards his parents who he said helped him tremendously to get to where he is now.
5. Grey’s Anatomy
When Jenness isn’t playing with his dog Kobe or playing volleyball, he likes to relax and watch some Netflix.
His current series of choice is Grey’s Anatomy, the medical drama.
“I had always heard good things about it and I finally started watching it,” Jenness stated. “There are so many season finales that have so much drama and intensity. The writer of it has also written a lot of my favorite shows.”
In his last outing against Lindenwood, Jenness opened the weekend with a 19-kill performance on 34 swings for a .441 hitting percentage in Saturday’s win.
On Sunday, he mimicked that performance with 18 kills on another 34 attempts for a .353 hitting percentage. He also helped defensively with six digs. For the week, Jenness totaled 37 kills on 68 attacks for a .397 hitting percentage.
The Ball State men’s volleyball team looks to remain undefeated in MIVA action Saturday, Feb. 27 when the Cardinals host rival Ohio State for a 7 p.m. ET first serve in Worthen Arena.