Nebraska Volleyball gets Commit #1 for 2004 Class

If you're a girl growing up in Nebraska and playing volleyball, than more than likely you someday dream of playing for Nebraska at the college level. Nebraska's first commit for the 2004 season is one of those girls. Let me introduce you to our newest Husker Volleyball commit for next years class, she is Meghan Smith, a 6'0 Middle Blocker of the Sidney Lady Raider's.

I had a chance to talk with Meghan a while back about her commitment to Nebraska.Although she actually committed several months ago, it was obvious to me the excitement she feels about playing for the Huskers and her competitive spirit is contagious. Meghan has a true love for volleyball and has been playing since she was seven years old. The other schools Meghan was looking at was Colorado State and Oklahoma, with both offering Smith a scholarship but there was just one school she was waiting for an offer from. When that scholarship offer finally came from the Coach John Cook and his Nebraska Cornhuskers, Smith called Coach Cook and told him that she would happily accept the Nebraska offer.

Meghan is a versatile standout athlete who also participates in basketball and track besides volleyball. In track, Meghan qualified for state in the 100 and 200 this past year, with her fastest times in the 100 being a 12.4 and 26.4. for the 200. That tells you she has some wheels on her and being quick on your feet can be a huge asset as a middle blocker. In basketball she has played in the state basketball championship two years in a row and was honorable mention on the All Nebraska Girls Basketball team last year. "We went to state this year and got beat by Gering again and then they ended up losing to South Sioux City in the championships. We lost four games and three of loses were to them (Gering)".

During the summer, Meghan was active in summer club volleyball, at one time playing for the Panhandle Club out of Scottsbluffs but this past summer played for the Nebraska Juniors. Smith had an opportunity to be teammates with three current Huskers of this year's freshman class coming to Lincoln, which include Dani Mancuso, Dani Busboom, and Christina Houghtelling and another future Husker for the 2005 season, Jordan Larson. The club exposure can really help a high school player get national attention, as they travel all over and get evaluated by national scouts. A couple of places the Nebraska Juniors went this summer was to Colorado Springs and Atlanta, to compete in tournaments.

I asked Meghan why she decided to become a Husker and her reason was simple, "Just because I've wanted to play there since I was really little. My family has gone to their games and I've always looked up to those girls a lot "

When I asked about how her volleyball season went this last year for Sidney, "We had a winning record but got beat by Gering to go to state, we got beat in Districts, so we didn't make it to state". Smith seems excited about the possibilities for her team this year though, "We have four starters returning, so we should be better this year than last year".

Meghan's has some strengths on the court that help make her an outstanding middle blocker, "well I think that I am one of the smaller middle blockers and I think I can move along the net pretty well and read the ball and get to the outside and close out the block. I try and use my quickness and aggressiveness to get to the ball. I'm really competitive, everyone says that shows on the court, because in everything that I play, I like to win at." Not a bad attitude to have when you choose to play for one of the top nationally ranked teams in the country!

Meghan is listed as one of the top volleyball players in the state to watch this year. Last year in her junior year, she was named to the second team All-State volleyball team. Considering that Sidney didn't make it to the state volleyball tournament, that is saying something for Meghan to make the All-State team. Although, when you look at her stats from last year, it shouldn't be a surprise. Meghan led the state in all classes in ace blocks with 202, 327 kills (averaging 4.5 per game) with a hitting percentage of .346. Smith had 26 ace serves, scored 124 points and made 111 digs.

For this season, Meghan is having a great year so far through her first twelve games of the season. She is leading Class B in kills with 66 and averaging 5.5 per game for a hitting percentage of .443. Smith leads in Class B for aces with 15 total and averaging 1.2 per game and also leading for blocks with a total of 38 for a 3.1 per game mark . I know that one thing Meghan will be happy about so far this season, is the fact that they have beaten Gering this year at the Ogallala Quad tournament in early September. Sidney beat Gering 15-12 and 15-14, although Gering did end up winning the tournament as Ogallala had beaten Sidney in three sets earlier in the tournament 15-7, 6-15 and 18-16.

Congratulations to Meghan on her decision to become a member of the great tradition of Nebraska volleyball and good luck to her this season and we look forward to seeing Meghan next year in Lincoln.

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