The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 25, 2012

Kendall Kirby to play volleyball at OCC

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

LIBERAL, Mo. — Ozark Christian College volleyball coach Tony Allmoslecher was impressed with the signing ceremony held for senior Kendall Kirby at Liberal High School on Tuesday.

Making it more pleasurable, naturally, for Allmoslecher is that Kirby, a setter, is joining the Ambassadors.

Kirby helped the Bulldogs, coached by Russ Cramer, place third in the MSHSAA Class 1 Tournament last fall.

Kirby also has been an important cog in basketball and softball for coach Brandi Goodell.

Cramer pointed out that Kirby, a three-year stalwart for very successful teams, logged more than 1,000 assists her last two seasons.

Why OCC?

Said Kirby: “I’m a big fan of a school with a Christian atmosphere and playing for a Christian coach.”

It goes without saying that Kirby believes that  OCC and Allmoslecher are agreeable for her.

Kirby, who faces knee surgery on May 4, will redshirt as a freshman, Allmoslecher said.

“She still will be actively involved with the team,” Allmoslecher said.

Allmoslecher, who’s guided OCC to runner-up finishes in NCCAA Division II the past two seasons and an ACCA title in 2011, said the 2012 team will have a new look.

“I’m looking forward to next season,” he said. “We’ll be very young. We’ll have no seniors. But we have great team chemistry and we do return two standouts in Bethany Decker (of Aurora) and Meghan Melton (Webb City).”

Kirby paced the basketball team in rebounding and was its third leading scorer as a senior,

But she hurt the knee in the last game of the regular season as the Bulldogs lost to Pierce City in a Spring River Valley Conference showdown.

“Then I missed two games in districts before returning to play in the finals against Purdy,” she said. “I think I played six minutes. I tried.”

That effort earned praise from winning Purdy coach Grant Young quickly after the game.

Kendall, the daughter of Cindy (formerly Phipps) and 1981 Liberal graduate/athlete Kyle Kirby, plans to major in elementary education and also hopes to coach.