Devyn Burroughs

Devyn Burroughs (12) of the Lady Orange goes for a block during a match this week against Hastings in Beatrice.

It has been a bittersweet couple of weeks for Devyn Burroughs.

Her team is in the midst of a rough stretch, having lost seven of its last nine matches. At the same time, the senior is having her best season yet as she tries to close out her high school career strong.

A four-year varsity player at Beatrice, Burroughs only has a handful of home matches remaining in her career, and that fact isn’t lost on her.

“This was my passion; I’ve been involved in everything else and nothing gave me a feeling like volleyball did,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to end this, but it’s a good team to end it with.”

Over the span of her career, Burroughs has consistently been a force at outside hitter, but heading into her junior season a year ago, she faced a new challenge: moving inside. Her coaches decided to play her at middle blocker and Burroughs reacted by facing the challenge head-on.

“She accepted that position with a smile on her face,” Beatrice coach Melissa Carper said. “It was a work in progress, but it didn’t take her half the season to get it. She picked it up right away and she was effective there.”

Carper said the transition has helped Burroughs’ impact on the floor as a versatile player for the team. In the team’s system, she is relied upon to hit the ball from any spot on the floor, something which Burroughs said she enjoys.

When this season draws to a close, so too will Burroughs’ volleyball career. Considering her love for the game, it was a difficult for Burroughs when she decided not to play volleyball in college. Instead, Burroughs felt she needed to focus on her academic career and enjoy the many experiences college has to offer.

She’ll be staying in-state and attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln next fall to study athletic training.

“I didn’t want to leave sports, because that’s what I’m passionate about, and with athletic training, I wanted to do something medical because I love helping people,” Burroughs said. “I think that’s a good middle ground for me.”

Burroughs said she’s excited for a new chapter in her life, but that doesn’t make closing the current one any easier. After four years with the Lady Orange, neither she nor her coach are ready to end their journey yet.

“She’s one girl that I don’t want to see go,” Carper said.

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