The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 24, 2013

Southern signs pair for volleyball team


From staff reports

— Two players from high schools in northwest Arkansas have joined Missouri Southern’s volleyball program.

The Lions have signed Mikayla Avery, 5-foot-9 outside hitter from Fayetteville, and Monica White, 6-0 middle blocker/hitter from Gravette.

Avery earned all-state honors after helping Fayetteville to a 35-3 season record, a second consecutive undefeated conference championship, and a Class 7A state championship. Avery led the Bulldogs with 556 kills and had a .335 attack average. She also had 301 digs, 44 aces and 31 blocks.

As a junior Avery had 255 kills, 159 digs, 24 blocks and 38 aces. The Bulldogs went 34-2 that year and finished second in the state tournament.

“Mikayla is a very skilled player that comes from a very good high school program and club program,” Lions coach Trish Knight said in a press release. “She is a good all-around player that brings good back-row skills with smart front-row play. She is physically strong, competitive in nature, and has a great attitude. She will be an asset to our team and I really look forward to having her be a part of our program.”

White started three years in both volleyball and basketball at Gravette, earning all-state honors two times in volleyball. In basketball she was the school’s defensive player of the year as a junior, and she was named to radio station KURM’s Dream Team as a senior.

“Monica came to our summer camp and I was really impressed with her athletic ability and great attitude,” Knight said. “She got some much needed experience playing club this spring and is a really good athlete. She is quick, instinctive at blocking, and has a high contact point on her swing. She is tall in stature and will help us add to the talent pool we have been able to attain on our offense. After working with her in our club program, I am really looking forward to having her in our program. She brings a lot of positives.”