LOVE AT FIRST SPIKE

in Volleyball

Meridian’s new volleyball head coach Lyndsie Schur takes over recently re-established Lady Jacket volleyball program aiming for new heights

MERIDIAN – Inheriting a young and inexperienced squad in a re-established volleyball program entering its third season, new Meridian Lady Jacket head coach Lyndsie Schur understood the challenges that would lie ahead when she accepted the position.

After opening the 2022 Texas high school volleyball season with a 25-7, 25-11, 25-11 straight set loss on the road to Bruceville-Eddy last Tuesday, the Lady Jackets hit the road once again to play in the Riesel Tournament last Thursday and Saturday.

Despite showing improvement and winning a couple of sets, Meridian dropped five straight matches in the tournament, losing to Moody, 25-7, 25-14, Riesel 25-23, 25-14, Groesbeck JV, 23-25, 25-13, 25-17, Penelope, 25-18, 25-7, and Coolidge, 25-16, 17-25, 25-21.

“I am really proud of how hard the girls have played in the last few games,” Schur said. “We’re still getting into the groove of things due to minor injuries. But we have really started to come together and play some good points.”

After hitting the road once again to take on Penelope at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Lady Jackets (0-6) will play their first home game of the season by hosting Oglesby at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

After graduating from Vernon High School in 2011, Schur went to West Texas A&M University in the fall of 2011 and graduated in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science. She began her coaching career in Winters in 2016 coaching cross country, basketball and softball before her husband Grant Schur took them back to their alma mater as the defensive coordinator in 2017.

“We actually we’re headed to Huntington to work under Coach Jim Kerbow, but we backed out when the opportunity came up to be closer to our families,” said Schur, who coached volleyball, basketball and softball in Vernon for four years, before taking over the volleyball program for the last two years. “In 2020, we advanced to the area round and qualified for bi-district in 2021. For the 2021-2022 school year, I was the head volleyball coach at Itasca, where we had the most wins in program history and qualified for bi-district.”

In only their second season since re-establishing the Meridian volleyball program, the Lady Jackets showed marked improvement in 2021. In the process, the Lady Jackets got a glimpse of the summit, witnessing firsthand just how far they have to go to compete among Class 2A’s best in the state.

Facing the Class 2A’s top-ranked and defending state champion Crawford Lady Pirates in a Bi-District playoff matchup, the Lady Jackets were ousted from the postseason tournament in decisive fashion as the Lady Pirates swept Meridian, 25-0, 25-2, 25-8.

“First off, we came to Meridian because we have a relationship with Coach Kerbow,” Schur said. “But also, seeing how hard the kids competed in basketball and all spring in various sports really impressed me. There is great potential here. And this community feels like a great fit for raising our family.”

Although the Lady Jackets own a long history of playing volleyball, the program was initially dropped following the 1973-74 school year. Meridian reinstated volleyball for the 1978-79 school year, but promptly dropped it again the following season. Prior to the 2020 season, former MISD athletic director Wade Morton and MISD superintendent Kim Edwards locked in and decided to bring volleyball back.

“I will certainly rely on the senior class to provide leadership for our program,” Schur said. “I know we graduated a big group last year, but this group is equally as big. From what I have seen so far, it is a great group of seniors that have the potential to lead our program to new heights.”

Qualifying for the Class 2A postseason for the second straight season last year after rebooting the volleyball program in 2020, the Meridian Lady Jackets took the next step in re-establishing its program to past glory. Schur plans to continue the process of rebuilding the program.

“We didn’t have a summer league this year, so I really hadn’t seen us play until we began practicing last week,” Schur said. “So figuring out how to fit the puzzle pieces together will be my main focus early in the season.”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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