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PREP VOLLEYBALL

After late hurdle in her college plans, Southwest’s Myers ready to ‘take it to the next level’ with Kansas State

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Norfolk vs. Lincoln Southwest, 10.27

Lincoln Southwest players, including Shaylee Myers (18), cheer in the final minutes of the A-3 district volleyball championship on Oct. 27, 2021 at Southwest.

Two years might as well be an eternity in college athletics.

In September of 2020, Lincoln Southwest sophomore Shaylee Myers committed to Fresno State after feeling the school’s family atmosphere.

Over 20 months later, the situation for Myers at Fresno State had changed completely. Assistant coach Maggie Eppright, who played a big part in recruiting Myers, was off to Northwestern and head coach Jonathan Winder left for Pepperdine.

Right at the last hurdle of her high school career, Myers had a decision to make. The Lincoln Southwest standout announced in late May that she wouldn’t be going to Fresno State after all. Instead, Big 12 program Kansas State would be her landing spot.

“I feel like it just kind of opened a bigger door for me; I loved K-State when I went on my visit because the campus is beautiful and everyone is super friendly,” Myers said. “It just felt like a place where I could see myself going there and playing volleyball.”

Myers had already established herself as one of the top outside hitters in the state when her recruitment opened up as a sophomore, attracting more than 40 schools. With a long-held dream of playing college volleyball in California, Fresno State quickly emerged as the right fit.

However, Myers’ dreams turned into a dose of reality over time. Home would be a five-hour flight away from Fresno, California, and visits from her family would be few and far between. So when she hit the recruiting trail this time around, staying close to home was a priority.

Safe to say the 2½-hour drive to Manhattan, Kansas checks that off the list.

“As I grew older after being committed to Fresno, I kind of realized that I wanted to be closer to home. It turned into a really big thing where location was one of the top things I wanted,” Myers said.

Myers is also part of a growing Nebraska presence on the Kansas State volleyball roster. Former Norris standout Molly Ramsey saw action as a libero a year ago, while Elmwood-Murdock’s Brenna Schmidt and Papillion-La Vista South’s Ava LeGrand are also part of the Wildcats’ incoming recruiting class.

"We are excited about what Shaylee can bring to our team,” Kansas State coach Suzie Fritz said in a release. “She is a versatile and powerful attacker with a well-rounded skill set. She has the experience and capacity to help the team in multiple ways. We believe she fits our team culture as a hard-working, high-character, academically driven young woman."

In Myers and LeGrand, Kansas State is getting two of the Journal Star’s first-team Super-State selections from a year ago. Myers totaled 489 kills in her final season with Lincoln Southwest, where she graduated as the school’s all-time leader in kills (1,536) and aces (161). Meanwhile, LeGrand was a rare three-time Super-State selection as one of the top setters in state history.

LeGrand figures to gain immediate playing time for the Wildcats, and like any great hitter, Myers knows her collegiate success will hinge on her setter.

“Ava LeGrand is an amazing setter, I’ve watched her a lot, and it’s exciting because she runs a really fast, powerful offense,” Myers said. “I’m really excited because I love the location, the coaches and all the girls I’ve talked to. I’m just ready to take it to the next level.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or at LMullin@journalstar.com. On Twitter @lmullin7

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