Athlete of the Week: Maize South's Laurel Jones

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MAIZE, Kan. (KAKE) -

There’s been one constant the last three seasons for the Maize South volleyball team, the dependable play of Laurel Jones.

“The last two years she was a setter/hitter and she led our team in blocking, assists, and different things,” said head coach Teri Larson.

Jones burst onto the scene as a freshman where she impressed the upperclassmen with not just her talent, but her poise.

“That’s just kind of how I’ve always played,” Jones told KAKE. “I think I’ve watched a lot of volleyball too and I realize that points go back and forth and it’s nothing to freak out about, people make mistakes and you’re going to have some bad games. you have to take control and help lead other people and help keep their attitudes up as well.”

Setters come in all shapes and sizes. Jones uses her 6-1 frame to keep the Mavericks opponents on their toes.

“It’s definitely an advantage, “Jones said. “A lot of colleges run an offense where your setter is back row and front row and so when your setter is playing front row they have to block and they have to attack. It helps to have a taller setter and that’s not as common.”

“She sets every girl differently to get in their comfort zone and not many girls at the high school level know how to do that,” Larson states.

Division 1 schools took notice of her skills and began lining up to win her services. She ended up committing to Marquette last spring.

“Every time I go up to (Marquette’s) camp every summer I love it so much,” Jones says. “I never want to leave. “Milwaukee is a beautiful city it’s a lot of fun. It just felt right. “

Maize South coach Teri Larson has coached plenty of talented players in her long coaching career at Maize and Maize South.  She’s not likely to forget the impact Jones has had on her teams anytime soon.

“I’ve had girls go to Georgia, Creighton, Oklahoma, WSU, so she’s definitely one of my top 5 out of my 31 years. “I’ve had two state championship teams so yeah, she’s good,” Larson says with a laugh.