Meet the 'Jackets: Presley Groce

Photo courtesy Nicholas Mebruer
Lebanon senior Presley Groce looks to pass the ball during a high school girls' basketball game last season.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

Lebanon senior Presley Groce has worked hard and put in the time for the Lebanon volleyball team, and head coach Jenny Collins has taken notice.

Groce, a defensive specialist, is expected to see some time and should help an LHS team that won 20 games a season ago.

“She (Presley) is a great teammate and one of the most unselfish kids that I have ever coached,” Collins said. “She works hard daily and inspires her teammates around her. She has a love for the game and a love for life, and it shows in all of her actions.

“Presley is a defensive specialist and will see time defensively in the left back and middle back position.”

Groce is also a member of the LHS girls’ basketball team and helped Lebanon win their first district championship in 13 years.

The Lebanon Daily Record recently caught up with Groce to talk to her about the upcoming volleyball season this fall.

LDR – Talk about the strengths of your game and what you contribute on the court.

Presley – I would say my strengths on the court are that I’m a big communicator on the floor. As a back row player, I have a better view of the opponents court and can tell our hitters what is open.

LDR – What are some things that you have tried to improve on during the off season?

Presley –  During off season I have worked a lot on reading the hitters. I want to try and pick up tips and be more accurate on my digs.

LDR – What club volleyball team do you play for? How does that certain program help your game?

Presley – I play for Club Synergy, which is Lebanon’s program. Being on a team from my home town allows me to build a stronger connection with teammates for the season which is always a good thing.

LDR – What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming season?

Presley – I am so excited to see what God is going to do in our program this season. We have a team bible study we are about to start, and I think it is going to make us so much stronger as teammates and friends.

LDR – Which team do you look forward to playing most this season?

Presley – I am most looking forward to playing Willard. They are a top notch team and always good competition. I’m always impressed with their offensive hitters which gives myself as a defensive player something to look forward to.

LDR – Who has been the biggest influence on your volleyball career?

Presley – The biggest influence on my volleyball career is my previous coach Morgan Sharp. She coached me as a kid, in junior high, and in club season the last three years. She once told me that if I miss a serve receive pass, never to act scared of messing up again, beg for the next ball so you can redeem yourself. I always remember that.

LDR – Talk about your position and what your job is on the court.

Presley – I’ve played in all three back row positions, but most of the time I play left back. I am in charge of covering our hitters, picking up tips, getting digs, and giving our setter all three hitting options.

LDR – What advice would you give to a someone younger than you who wants to become a successful volleyball player?

Presley – My advice would be three simple things: Listen to your coaches. Value your teammates. Give all the glory to God.

LDR – How long have you been playing volleyball and what got you interested in the sport?

Presley – I’ve been playing for about eight years. I think it was the summer of fourth grade that a small group of my friends started playing in a league at the courts and I’ve never wanted to give it up.

LDR – What are some keys to a successful season this year?

Presley – We have some pretty long weeks with lots of games and tournaments back to back. It’s important for us to stay healthy, play as a team, and keep our focus.

LDR – What other extracurricular activities do you participate in outside of volleyball?

Presley – I play volleyball and basketball. I am the Executive Vice President of Student Council, an FCA leader, and in NHS. I also am active in my youth group at Phillipsburg Christian Church.

LDR – What is your favorite sports memory so far throughout your high school career?

Presley – It’s hard to choose between when the bus broke down my sophomore year on the way to Joplin, and we all sat in the heat on the side of the road, or when we all met up at our coaches house for breakfast and went to cheer on some our teammates that were running cross country.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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