Elmwood-Murdock has a history of producing NCAA Division I college volleyball players, and senior middle blocker Abby Meyer is the latest to carry on that tradition.
The 6-foot-2 Meyer is headed to Nebraska-Omaha next year in the footsteps of former Knight all-state middle Megan Schmale, an All-Summit League player for the Mavericks as a senior in 2015.
“I remember watching Megan play in high school when I was in elementary school, and she’s definitely someone I looked up to. I wanted to be just like her in high school,” said Meyer, who last year played for the same Omaha club, Premier, as Schmale did when she was in high school.
Meyer was teammates her first two years of high school with the latest Knight to go the Division I route, all-state outside hitter Hanna Justesen.
A freshman last year, Justesen started for George Washington, helping the Colonials to a 21-11 record. Justesen transferred to Augustana and is a leading hitter on a 12-1 team ranked eighth in NCAA Division II.
Before Schmale and Justesen was Megan Bober, the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year in 2012 as a right-side hitter/setter at Creighton.
“I’ve had some great role models to follow and learn from,” Meyer said. “Hanna always had a great attitude and she worked really, really hard both on and off the court to become the best volleyball player she could. Both her and Megan always showed a lot of leadership, talking on the floor, encouraging the younger players and being the best teammate they could. That’s something I’m trying to do this year as a senior.”
Hanna’s mother, Nichole Justesen, is now the head coach at Elmwood-Murdock after coaching at Johnson County Central and against Meyer. The first thing she noticed this fall was Meyer’s improvement from a year ago.
“Playing for Premier helped her make huge strides in her game,” Justesen said of Meyer, who leads a young 8-8 Elmwood-Murdock squad with 116 kills and 31 ace blocks. The Knights have nine freshmen or sophomores on their varsity roster.
Meyer started getting Division I attention after national qualifiers last spring. She convinced her club coach, former UNO player Korrine Boltin, to put a good word in for her with Mavericks head coach Rose Shires.
Shires came out to watch a practice, then had Meyer on campus a week later for a visit and a scholarship offer.
“(UNO) was the school I always wanted to go to, so it was like a dream come true,” said Meyer, who is also a basketball standout for the Knights, averaging 10.3 points per game as a junior.