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INA, Ill. (Aug. 3, 2012) – Malory Paisley of Sesser signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball for Sara Crews at Rend Lake College in the fall. The 17-year-old from Agape Christian High School in Marion said she is excited to get started.
The team’s first practice was Wednesday night. Paisley joins three other freshmen as new additions to the program. Recruits include Benton’s Abigail Bennett and Emily Tate, and Macy Friese of Effingham. In her high school volleyball career, Paisley was a three-time all-tournament selection and two-time MVP at the Bethel Christian Academy Tournament. She was selected for numerous Agape Christian team awards for her defense, spiking and passing.
Crews said Paisley, a 5-foot 9-inch outside hitter with good leaping ability and killing power, will add some depth at that position. It will be needed with the loss of Kourtney Heggemeier, RLC’s talented right-side hitter from Nashville, who suffered a career-ending shoulder injury.
“Malory has a strong serve and good ball control on defense,” Crews said, adding that Friese and Paisley were recruited to fill Heggemeier’s spot. Paisley seems ready for any challenge. Her eyes lit up when someone in the room started talking about college opponents who will be standing well above six feet on the other side of the net.
“That’s where I find myself. My personality comes out on the court,” said Paisley. “If you see me outside, I usually have a ball in my hand. Any ball.”
Sherry Paisley said her daughter is quiet ... off the court.
“On the court, I talk all the time,” Malory said. “If you don’t see me off the court, on the court you learn a lot about me.”
Sherry isn’t just Malory’s mother. She also coached her at Agape Christian. It makes for some very entertaining talk around the table. And spending just a few minutes with them, it’s not hard to see where Malory gets her spirit. Sherry stressed that her daughter plays to win.
“I’m very excited,” said Sherry. “Every team we contended with in the southern part of the state, I had coaches – not knowing we are related – come to me and say, ‘That number 15 ... if we could have just gotten rid of her ...’ [Malory] has worked so hard.”
Sherry said, while her daughter doesn’t always outsize her opponents, she always out-prepares them. And her team pride for Agape Christian led her to spend the entire summer after her sophomore year, developing herself to be able to teach a crop of left-handed players at Unity Christian School. The elementary school feeds into Agape Christian.
“I worked every day on developing my left arm,” she said. “I learned how to serve left-handed – overhanded and under-handed – and spike, to try to make it more dominant. They didn’t have anyone left-handed to teach them.”
Malory’s dad, Shannon Paisley, is a carpenter in the Physical Plant at RLC. He said it will be nice for Sherry to attend Malory’s games as her mom, rather than her coach.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said.
The Lady Warriors will kick off the 2012 volleyball season with the two-day Vincennes University Tournament, Aug. 24 and 25, in Indiana. Visit the team’s website at www.rlc.edu/womens-volleyball. For all things athletic at The Lake, visit RLC online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.