DETROIT, Mich. -- Welcome to Meet-A-Mustang – a new way for you to get to know the student-athletes representing Marygrove College on-and-off the playing field. Recently, we continued our series with Kara Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft College) and Nicole Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft College) from the women's volleyball team.
The Kempinski twins joined the Marygrove volleyball team in 2013 when they transferred in from Schoolcraft College. The talented juniors helped their team win the Northwood Labor Day Volleyfest and aided in notching the program's first WHAC victories. Their first season donning the Green & Gold culminated with a third place finish at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCA) National Championships. During the interview, we had the opportunity to talk with the twins about their time at Marygrove, their relationship, and a few other items just for fun. Enjoy!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THE 2013 SEASON?
Kara: My favorite memory was when we beat Florida College because I thought we didn't have a chance, and then we pulled it off (referring to the 0-1 hole and the ensuing comeback). We struggled early on because we did not have a lot of team chemistry at the beginning of the trip, but we had a lot of team talks and everyone came together. It ended up being a lot of fun!
Nicole: I would have to say our first WHAC win against Concordia because we came back from 24-18 or something like that. It was crazy. It was fun winning…finally, especially for the seniors.
WHAT'S THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAYING IN THE MCCAA AND PLAYING IN THE WHAC?
Kara: I would say that the biggest difference is that the [WHAC] teams and the competition are way harder. The stakes are higher because there are a lot of valuable players in the WHAC that are harder to compete against.
Nicole: Mine would be that there is a faster pace and the refs are tougher [in the WHAC]. You have to have more team chemistry.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST IN YOUR LAST SEASON AS A STUDENT-ATHLETE?
Kara: I guess what I am looking forward the most is to top the year that I just had. I am going to try to push myself and probably lead the team this upcoming year. Just try to do the best I can!
Nicole: I want our team to have more wins and try to win all our tournaments again.
Kara: and not get doubles…
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO PLAY ON THE SAME TEAM AS YOUR SISTER?
Nicole: I love playing with Kara even though it is the most intense experience of my entire life. We scream at each other and everything just to get better. It's fun and exciting; I would not play volleyball without her.
Kara: That is the biggest reason why I came to Marygrove because I wanted to be able to play with my twin sister for another two years. Even though we look like we are really dysfunctional, we have the great chemistry on and off the court. It really helps us and gives us and advantage when we play although we literally scream at each other when we prepare. It is really intense and fun and I love playing with Nicole. She is a great player and pushes me harder.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Nicole: My favorite book will probably be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because I like the love story in it.
Kara: Mine is The Great Gatsby, I love that movie.
WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING VOLLEYBALL?
Kara: We started playing back in sixth grade, and we were on the B team. Then, the following year Nicole and I just continuously practiced outside in our front lawn. We improved quite a bit over the year, and then we played on the highest team in seventh grade. And ever since…
Nicole: We played at Churchill High School, Schoolcraft College, and now here [Marygrove College].
KARA, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE NAMED THE WHAC's LIBERO OF THE YEAR AND A FIRST TEAM USCAA ALL-AMERICAN?
It shocked me that I even got it because our team record wasn't near the top of the conference. It is really nice to know that other coaches can see my hard work. I could not have done it without my teammates or my coaches, and especially my twin sister who always pushes me really hard. So, I guess it is really nice to get that recognition, but I am pretty humble about it. I don't think I am the best or anything. I just like playing.
The above interview was conducted by English/Communications student and women's soccer student-athlete, Andrea Aznar. Video production by Jeremy Otto.