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Senior Jaime Kosiorek serves the ball, with her teammates support, while playing against Samford on Sept. 7. The Bobcats won the game 3-2, with the game going to the fifth and final set.

Volleyball: On Jaime Kosiorek's serve and how she's rediscovered it since an ACL injury in 2017

Jaime Kosiorek's serve is not a typical volleyball serve.

When Kosiorek serves, she kicks her left foot back, launches the ball about 10 feet above her head, jumps and throws her right arm. Her piercing serve usually flies just inches over the net.

At around 50 miles per hour, according to a radar gun read aloud from a team assistant at practice, Kosiorek's serve is one of the fastest on Ohio. Most volleyball players take a simpler approach to their serve, perhaps to take a bigger focus on accuracy or target a weak side in the opponents defense.

But with a lot of moving parts, the redshirt senior's serve is much more than that — one that not too many other players could replicate consistently.

"It's a high risk, high reward serve," the Kosiorek said. "A top-spins serve at this level, you're literally going up and taking a full attack every time you serve. Whereas, a jump-float, you're doing kind of a baby jump. So my serve is truly a giant approach, big arm-span, hitting the crap out of the ball every single time I serve."

When Kosiorek connects and successfully shoots the ball, the opposing players on the back line must react quickly. If Kosiorek splits them perfectly, one of them has to step up and place their hands just a couple inches above the ground to dig the ball out.

All of this, from Kosiorek's first touch of the ball to the opponent's reaction, takes about a full second to complete.

In 2018, Kosiorek's serve hasn't been at its best. It's had its flashes, like when she had six service aces against Samford on Friday.

But it's also had its downfalls, like the three games this season where she's had four service errors.

Kosiorek has struggled to find a consistent flow to her serve because of her ACL injury that sidelined her for all but four games in 2017. When you see Kosiorek's serve, it's easy to see why that aspect of her game has taken the longest to rediscover. Kosiorek takes a long jump before she strikes the ball and lands hard on both legs.

When she returned to the practice court in 2018, she had to be careful with how she balanced the stress she placed on her knee and how many reps she took from the service area. It's been a frustrating process.

"It's one of those things that like, literally every single time I practice or play, it just gets exponentially better," Kosiorek said. "I've been working a lot with just getting into a good rhythm and making sure my toss is far enough out so I can go up and let my body lean and rip it. You can definitely tell the ones that I have a good toss on versus the ones I don't. Just getting that toss more consistent."

And 10 games into 2018, things are finally starting to click for Ohio's co-captain.

After registering just four aces in her first six matches this season, she notched 12 aces in the next four games and now leads the team with 16 total aces in 2018.

If she keeps her consistency, Kosiorek will just barely break her career high of 46 aces her freshman year — she's on pace to swing for about 47 aces this season.

Kosiorek hit 10 aces in Ohio's three games last weekend at The Convo. It was a big reason why the Bobcats were able to swipe their first two wins in a single weekend tournament for the first time this season, and it was certainly a good omen for the damage Kosiorek may be able to cause in Ohio's crucial conference games, which start on Sept. 20.

She's still balancing the amount of reps she takes versus the level of stress she's willing to place on her knee, but when she finds that rhythm, her unique serve is one of Ohio's biggest assets.

"It's kind of a fine line, but now my leg's more in shape, my knee is feeling a lot better, so we can go ahead and train."


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