Southwest senior still setting records

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mitchell has rewritten Lady Trojans' volleyball record book

Southwest Volleyball Coach Steve Voyak is a high-energy and a highly-motivated coach.

He works just as hard as any of his players during the course of a match, rarely sitting down, and living and dying with every point. If asked about his coaching style, he talks about giving his team energy and feels it's his responsibility to coach as hard as the play he demands from his team.

Yet, Voyak knows that he has been blessed with great players and even admits that it is hard to win without them.

One of the players Voyak has been fortunate to coach, Shannon Mitchell, will play her final home game on Tuesday against Exeter.

"Shannon is the prototypical volleyball player," Voyak said. "She is effort, energy, talent and skill all rolled into one. Her unselfishness makes her unique."

In her four-year career, the Lady Trojans have gone 78-35-4 and 20-2 in the Ozark 7 Conference, with three conference titles and a possible fourth within reach.

"It was more fun for me to hit a volleyball than a softball," Mitchell said. "I didn't play [organized] volleyball until the eighth grade, and I just liked it."

Voyak was quick to point out that Mitchell didn't just play volleyball. She immersed herself in the game.

"No one works any harder in the off season or in practice than Shannon," he said. "With a late start to the game, she still hasn't found her ceiling of potential."

In four years as a varsity starter, Mitchell has amassed 1,127 kills, 483 blocks, 630 digs and 148 service aces, all of which are school records. She earned all-state honors as a junior and is on pace to be added to the list this season.

Mitchell is also a standout on the basketball court and has an opportunity to play collegiality in both sports.

"I am still weighing my options," she said. "I love both sports so much. I use skill sets I learned from volleyball to help me in basketball and vise-versa.

"I hope to make my decision before the end of basketball season."

Matches against Exeter on Tuesday begin at 6 p.m.

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