After a stellar career as a member of the Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team, Boonville senior Taylor Fry knew her next step was to pick a school of choice to play volleyball for the next-four years while at the same time getting a quality education.
Of course it didn’t take long for Fry to decide that Hannibal LaGrange University was the place she wanted to be.
Fry said she chose LaGrange University because its close and they have an art education program. “I went for a college visit and the campus is wonderful and welcoming,” Fry said. “I knew when I left that I wanted to go there.”
Hannibal LaGrange volleyball coach Anthony Childers is also glad that Fry chose his school. He said Fry is one of the top-three recruits this year.
“Taylor comes from a really good program,” Childers said. “Her fundamentals are really strong. I look for a lot of versatility out of her being able to switch from any of the front row positions. Essentially I look for her to capitalize on her arm strength and her speed and being able to adjust to the next level of volleyball.”
Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball coach Susie Stone said Taylor is a hard worker and is dedicated and committed to whatever goals she sets out to achieve.
“She is never content with her performance until she is able to achieve them to her expectations,” Stone said. “Being a volleyball player has always been a priority for her. Her commitment to the sport shows in her actions on the court and off. She takes her commitment seriously and strives to be the best at what she does.”
A four-year starter at the front row position for the Lady Pirates, Fry definitely knows what it takes to get the job done. During her senior season, Fry finished the 2013 campaign with 147 kills out of 254 attack attempts along with 198 service points out of 213 service attempts, 32 of which were aces, 124 block assists, 82 solo blocks and 42 blocks, 56 digs and a serve-receive rating of 1.86.
Fry also received academic all-conference four years running, academic all-state the last three years and all-conference, all-district and all-region this past season.
Of course Fry also sees room for improvement. She said she definitely has to increase her speed and work and passing because the speed needed for college is a lot faster than what she is used to.
Coach Childers said he would like for Fry to play outside because of her all-around skills but will look at the right side as well.
“Taylor’s size allows her to play in the middle as well because she has pretty good hands with blocking,” Childers said. “I would like for her to step in and compete for a starting spot right away. Right now she is probably in the top three for recruits. We look for her to bring in a lot of leadership with the incoming freshmen class. It’s a big transition but based on her character we look for her to step in and lead those young women.”
Coach Stone said this year has definitely been Fry’s best.
“I believe there is more to come from Taylor as she continues to grow and get stronger,” Stone said. “She led our team in blocking this year and was a staple in our offense through the middle. She can swing all three positions on the front row and that will help give her opportunities at the next level.”
Stone said Fry is also hard headed but extremely coachable.
“She uses her determination to drive her to be a better athlete,” Fry said. “She listens and takes directives as she has matured over the years. She has learned to harness her emotions to be a positive force on the court to work in her benefit instead of against her, because she can be her own worst enemy. At times she is too hard on herself because she expects nothing less than perfection. She has finally learned that perfection is difficult to achieve and you must continue to push forward and build, except your shortcomings from time and don’t let them overpower your game. Due to that level of perfection she pursues it has helped take her game to the next level.”
Fry has also put up some pretty good numbers the last-four years with 348 kills on 780 attack attempts for a kill percentage of .19 and a hitting percentage of .42. She also has 322 blocks with 76 errors, 191 digs with 41 errors, three assists out of 15 assist attempts, 202 serving points out of 213 serve attempts, 136 of which were earned, with 32 aces and 37 serve errors for a serving percentage of 85 percent.
Fry said her short-term goals at LeGrange are to keep getting better, make new friends and work hard to be the best player and teammate she can be. As far as her long-term goals, Fry said she wants to work hard and study hard so that she can get her degree and teach art at the high school level.
Looking back, Fry said as a team the highlight of her career was growing together and becoming a family and in doing that they were able to accomplish their goals.
“That for me is the highlight of my career,” Fry said.
Of course LaGrange University wasn’t the only college that Fry showed an interest in. She said she also looked at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Metropolitan Community College in Longview and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
Fry also knows that without former volleyball player Haley Slaughter, she wouldn’t be the hitter she is today.
“She helped me so much my freshman year when it came to hitting,” Fry said. “I always wanted to play like her because she chose to help me improve rather than letting me skills stay where they were.”
While nobody knows what the next-four years hold for Fry, she said the thing that she will miss the most about playing volleyball at Boonville is the girls.
“I absolutely love my team and will miss them very, very much,” Fry said.