Kenzie Aries appears in the
June 2007 issue of
high school volleyball site RideThatPony.com was
Volleyball Magazines web site of the month in January 2007.
Off The Court
By Mike Miazga
San Diego area juniors player Kenzie Aries is on the cutting
edge when it comes to the recruiting process.
Kenzie Aries first started dabbling in
computers very early in life. "I started using the computer when
I was about four or five doing Disney software," said Aries.
"And then I graduated to the Reader Rabbit software where I
learned how to read via the computer."
Her first interaction with HTML (hypertext markup language)
happened with the site Neopets.com.
"It's a kid's site for virtual pets," said Aries. "I then
discovered you could "pimp out" your Neopets home page with
HTML. Learning this made more people come to my online Neo-shop,
so I earned more and more Neo-points--the currency of
Neopets.com. I earned over 350,000 Neo-points. I also learned,
unfortunately, another lesson -- I got my account phished.
Someone got in and took all my Neo-points."
Aries later kept up the site
which highlights Beacon's Beach--the area where she lives near.
Aries used to sell lemonade and soda to the surfers at the beach
as a child.
These days, Aries has taken her knowledge of cyberspace and
applied it to her volleyball career. A 6' junior setter at San
Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, Calif., Aries put together and
maintains her team's website at
(which was featured as a Volleyball Web site of the month in the
January 2007 issue). Aries was an All-CIF Division III San Diego
County first-team selection this past season for a San Dieguito
team that finished ninth in the state.
But that's only the half of it.
Aries, whose full first name is
Mackenzie, and her father, Rod, also put together her
own personal volleyball recruiting site at
While the site features the requisite player dossier
with stuff like height, standing jump, volleyball and
academic accolades, it also features a plethora of video
showing Aries playing. It's all right there for a
college coach to see without having to open a package,
pull out a DVD and put it into a computer or DVD player.
"In the time it takes to open a DVD from a
prospective athlete, turn on the DVD machine and find the
remote, a coach would have watched Kenzie's intro video and the
coach would have known, in less than four minutes, if they
wanted to recruit Kenzie," said Rod Aries.
Aries has taken things even a step further. With the help of a
friend, Aries also uses the extremely popular YouTube site
(YouTube.com) to post her playing videos. Several of her videos
had over 6,000 views as of mid-April.
"In terms of college coaches, it's really beneficial," said
Aries. "It's way easier than first starting off with mail and
then going to e-mail. Sometimes people don't check e-mail
Aries has also utilized the YouTube website to post her playing
videos. Aries' personal volleyball website allows college
coaches to watch a variety of her playing videos. everyday. It
can get annoying because you want a response right away--yes or
no. This way they can see everything right there and e-mail me
right away instead of having to wait for a reply."
And college coaches have taken notice.
Rod Aries provided Volleyball with a number of comments
from coaches that had viewed her videos on the site.
Rod Aries also uses a program that can detect how many
times an e-mail his daughter sends gets opened and how
many times it gets forwarded. One coach opened the
e-mail 12 times for a total of 27 minutes and 19
seconds. The city where the e-mail was opened at is even
available. About the only thing it didn't say was if the
person was drinking decaf or regular coffee while
Aries estimates it took about 50 hours of work
to get her site up and running. She said she does about 70
percent of the work with her dad helping with the rest. "I
mostly do the easy stuff and my dad does the harder stuff," said
Aries. "I do stuff like content updating. It's one of those
things where you are at home and you could either be watching
'South Park' or working on the site. A lot of times, I go for
'South Park.' I missed the episode where 'Chef' dies and I was
sort of annoyed about that. But if you want it bad enough, you
force yourself to do the work. But it's paid off because about
30-40 coaches have been to the site and I've had a lot of
positive feedback on it."
Aries expects this trend in technology to gain major momentum.
"I would be surprised if more people don't do this in the next
couple of years," said Aries, who plays for the
San Diego Volleyball
Club and also plays in local beach events with partner
"It's way easier. It's a lot easier than sending a DVD or a VHS.
The best part about a recruiting page is the fact it is much
easier for coaches. My dad says it is like speed dating for
college coaches and high school athletes. I was on an unofficial
visit to a college (recently) and while talking to the coach
there, I noticed she had a stack of VHS tapes and DVDs. I
mentioned that must take a lot of time to review, and she
replied something to the effect of, `Well, the DVDs I put in my
desktop computer, but with those VHS tapes I actually have to
get up and put them into the TV room, so that's one big strike
Ideally, Aries is hopeful her
cyberspace initiative will help make her dreams of
playing in college come true.
"It would be really nice to play in college," said
Aries, who sports a 4.15 grade-point average. "Academics
come first, but I really like to play. I understand I'm
not the best out there, but I know I can play in
college. I want to play. It's a fun sport and I want to
make the best of it while I can actually play. It's a
lot of hard work doing all of this, but it's really
worth it. My site allows me to get in front of other
coaches who might not normally see someone like me."
Kenzie Aries helped lead San Dieguito Academy to a
ninth-place finish in California this past season. Aries
was an All-CIF Division III San Diego county first-team
selection as a junior.
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Kenzie currently is building
her next sites -
Save The Planet
and Cat Charity,
a site to seek donations for animal shelters.