Freshman Vasil shines for McMurry

MHS graduate receives lots of floor time in debut season

Barbara Boxleitner
Mirror correspondent
Kaylie Vasil

Kaylie Vasil has had a successful first year for the McMurry University volleyball team.

The Midlothian High School graduate started the first 16 matches (12-4), leading the freshmen in starts. "I'm surprised because as a freshman, you don't get to play a ton," she said. "I have taken on the role pretty well."

One of the two tallest freshmen at 5-foot-10, the outside hitter led the team in kills and ranked third in service aces and digs.

"She's very focused. She's very consistent. That's huge for a freshman," McMurry head volleyball  coach Cammie Petree said. "She's come in and taken ahold of that outside hitter's role."

"You know whether on the court or in the classroom or in her personal life, she's going to be excellent," she said.

In six matches Vasil had at least 10 kills, with a career-high 17 to lead all players during a loss to University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She also had 15 digs that match, one of her four double-doubles in kills and digs.

She has learned to mix power with finesse to be an effective hitter. "Even if it's not a big, powerful swing, it's still a point," she said.

And she is trying to be less predictable in her attempts in order to throw off foes who have studied her tendencies. "She's working very hard at varying her shots," Petree said.

Vasil recently had a career-best 23 digs and 10 kills against Sul Ross State. It was the fifth consecutive match she had 10 or more digs and eighth in nine matches.

"It's all about reading, and it's all about hustle," she said about her defensive play. "I hustle for everything I can."

By match time she is prepared to answer the big arms on opposing teams, thanks to help from teammates. "The biggest thing is my teammates at practice swing really, really hard," she said. "When we do play great teams, it's easier to play harder and to play better."

Men's basketball

Austin College senior Michael Holland was named to the all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference first team and conference all-tournament team. The Midlothian Heritage alumnus averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in 10 games.

Caleb Jordan started nine of 10 games for St. Mary's University and averaged 9.8 points, fourth on the squad. The junior guard out of Midlothian High led the team in assists and averaged 3.0 rebounds.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.