DOUGLASS—Shaeli Munroe wasn't sure if a top-notch volleyball program like Cowley County would take an interest in signing her.
In August, however, coaches from the team caught Munroe at a showcase tournament. They immediately began pursuing her to join the team.
“They're really good, and I just like the campus and everything,” Munroe said about Cowley. “I'm honored because I didn't think I was that good, and I guess that proved me wrong.”
Munroe, a senior at Douglass High School, signed a letter of intent Tuesday to join Cowley's volleyball team next year. Cowley just took second place at the national tournament last weekend.
Munroe has been a huge part of the Bulldogs' recent turnaround success, which included the best season in the program's history two years ago. She saw herself grow as a leader and role model when she was the team's top returning player two seasons ago.
“To be a junior and the only returning starter was very big for me. It was very high-pressure,” said Munroe.
She and a few others started the trend to participate in every offseason volleyball activity they could. Munroe improved things like her passing game with club coach Amber Travis. And with DHS coach Leanne Braddy, Munroe has nearly doubled her improvements in kills and efficiency.
“She has helped me as a person and a volleyball player,” Munroe said of Braddy.
“Just seeing her grow and be more efficient, and to have less errors and more kills, that's what you want to see in your hitters,” Braddy said.
Munroe, who is tall and hits hard, was named to the All-Tournament team at Circle, Clearwater and Douglass, which finished 19-19 this year. She earned First Team All-Central Plains League honors for the second straight season after anchoring the middle for the Bulldogs. Last year, Munroe received two All-Tournament team honors, then was named to the All-State tournament team.
There was a lot Cowley could've liked the most. Munroe had 237 kills (6.6 kills per match), 52 aces, 92 digs (2.4/m) and 17 blocks. She had 210 kills, 66 aces, 74 digs and 25 blocks her junior season.
Cowley liked how she hit and went after every ball the most.
“I would definitely say her arm swing,” Braddy said of Munroe. “It's really impressive. It's one of those things that takes a long time to work at. Her fast arm swing is one of those things I know they like to see in hitters.”
“They liked that I talked on the court and went after pretty much everything,” Munroe said.
Munroe plans on studying nursing in school.
Munroe's parents are Hallie and Marc Munroe.