Prep of the Week: Kinley Soiney

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(ABC 6 News) – Mabel-Canton Cougar Kinley Soiney has a signature hammer fist. No, not in the same vein you would see in the UFC, but one on the volleyball court. When the middle hitter gets up for the hammer fist on the ball, more times than not, it’s a point.

“She hits it very hard. You have to attempt to read her,” said Mabel-Canton Cougar Setter Sahara Morken, “She disguises her hits really well.”

And she does it all with a smile.

“After she makes an error, she doesn’t get upset. She just comes back, and she wants the next ball. She wants every single ball from me,” said Morken.

“She has a confidence, and she’s relaxed, and she just loves what she’s doing,” added Cougars Volleyball Coach Lonnie Morken.

“I do get upset sometimes,” said Cougars Kinley Soiney, “but I like to keep it in, and I use it as motivation.”

Most fourth-year varsity athletes are seniors, but Soiney is not; she’s just a sophomore and has already established herself as one of the best volleyball players in program history.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a look at some of her accolades:

She’s a two-time all-conference player. She has more than 1,000 kills, which puts her in the top six all-time. Her 441 kills in 2022 were the 3rd most all-time in one season.

“Just has an engine that just doesn’t stop. She would play volleyball seven days a week. She would hit seven days a week,” said Coach Morken, “Constantly wants to get better.”

As a freshman, she played an integral role on a Cougars team that went 36-3, capturing the section championship for the first time since 2001 and finishing third at state.

“I was nervous,” said Soiney. “but I just had to keep telling myself that it was going to be fine and we’re going to do great. I just stayed calm.”

Coming off that experience, Soiney is hungry for more, and her hammer fist already has garnered her more than 370 kills with a hitting percentage well over 50 percent.

“We have really hard practices to keep us going, and we just go into every game like it’s the state tournament,” Soiney said.

Soiney’s potential is limitless, and with her, under coach Lonnie Morken’s wing, one of Minnesota’s most decorated volleyball coaches and who has her for two more seasons, who knows how high she can soar?

“She’s an animal in the weight room,” said Coach Marken, “She’s fairly athletic for a girl her size. She moves really well. I’m glad we have her for another two years because I’m going to be along for the ride trying to get her to play at a high level.”

Soiney says she is interested in playing college volleyball and already has her name on the radar of several college coaches.

When the volleyball season is over, she will move to basketball season, which she says benefits her volleyball side. Not because of the physical aspects but the mental aspects. She hopes that the move to basketball takes as long as possible as the Cougars look to make another deep postseason run and, this time, hoist the state championship trophy.