Advancing to the Class 1A volleyball state playoffs for the third straight year, Meridian Lady Jacket volleyball places three on first-team, all-district; Schur named co-coach of the year, Canyon Stauffer setter of the district
After advancing to the Class 1A volleyball postseason as District 18-1A’s third place team, the Meridian Lady Jackets were recognized for their efforts by placing four players – junior Canyon Stauffer, sophomore Journey Stauffer, junior Hope Cabrera and junior Evelyn Dirkse – on the all-district, first-team, while Meridian’s first-year head coach Lyndsie Schur was named the district’s co-coach of the year.
Among the district’s superlative honors, Canyon Stauffer was named the Setter of the District.
“I’ve said all season how proud I am of the girls for working hard day in and day out,” Meridian first-year volleyball head coach Lyndsie Schur said. “Because of their hard work, they earned the honors that were given to them.”
Lady Jackets named to the all-district, second team were senior Abby Edwards, senior Catherine Lunsford and sophomore Mackenzie Borhofen, while honorable mentions included senior Abigail Lucas, senior Cortney Lunsford and sophomore Mariana Paniagua.
As the district’s setter of the year, Canyon Stauffer led the Lady Jackets with 84 assists and 17 digs, as well as a team-highs with 62 kills and 56 service aces. Cabrera provided 50 kills and nine blocks, Dirkse smashed 46 kills, served up 26 aces and contributed a team-high 13 blocks, while Journey Stauffer added 33 kills and 41 aces.
With every Meridian varsity volleyball player –Borhofen, Cabrera, Dirkse, Edwards, Lucas, Paniagua, Meryl Roberson, Aletheia Sandley, Catherine Lunsford, Cortney Lunsford, Canyon Stauffer and Journey Stauffer – earning Academic All-District honors, the Lady Jackets epitomized what it’s all about to be a student-athlete.
“Some people don’t get caught up in the awards, which isn’t a bad thing,” Schur said. “But for a new program, those awards might be the confidence that a kid needs to be that much better. I think that’s the case for my girls.”
With the Bi-District playoff loss, the Lady Jacket volleyball program will say goodbye to six seniors – Edwards, Roberson, Lucas, Sandley as well as Catherine and Courtny Lunsford – who have been instrumental in re-establishing the sport at Meridian High School.
“I am losing a big group of seniors this year that have really made a positive impact on our program,” Schur said. “Their leadership, by their words and actions, have set the tone for what is to come of Lady Jacket volleyball. They have done a tremendous job of holding teammates accountable and buying into the changes that we have made. Their level of buy-in has set the norm of what is expected of the next girls.”
Despite the heavy losses to graduation, Schur remains excited about the future of Lady Jacket volleyball with three juniors and four sophomores returning as lettermen with valuable experience.
“Even after losing several seniors, we still have a good group of girls coming back,” Schur said. “I will have seven girls coming back that have quality playing time. One thing we struggled with this year was confidence, and I think part of that came from lack of experience. I am very excited for what is to come for us.”
Photos by WENDY OROZCO
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