CORUNNA – Meredith Norris has eyed the prestigious Michigan Miss Volleyball title since she first stepped foot in Corunna High School in 2013.
Coming from a town of less than 3,500 people — tucked away almost directly between Flint and Lansing — Norris said she didn’t know if she would be on the radar for Miss Volleyball. However, after posting several record-book performances throughout her high school career, she became confident that her work wouldn’t go unnoticed.
The reigning State Journal volleyball player of the year learned two weeks ago that she was one of 10 finalists for Miss Volleyball.
“It’s always been a goal for me ever since I entered high school and started playing high school volleyball,” the senior said. “It wasn’t just to be on the Miss Volleyball list, but I hope to achieve the actual award.
“Toward the end of last year I knew it was serious and it could actually be achievable.”
It was Norris’ performance last season that led her to being named a member of the ALL-USA Preseason Girls Volleyball Team heading into 2016. In November of last year, the Michigan State commit recorded a state-record 56 kills in a five-game match against Goodrich. Norris also sits second (53), fourth (42) and tied for seventh (38) in the MHSAA record books for kills in a five-game match after outings she posted during her sophomore season.
In addition, her 836 kills as a junior and 754 as a sophomore put her at 13th and 21st on the state list for most kills in a season.
“She can hit really well, that’s for sure,” said Cavaliers senior Skye Rivett, who has played with Norris since seventh grade. “Meredith gives us that energy that makes us want to go for everything.”
Corunna coach Kari Carnell said it’s Norris’ ability to see the game that has allowed her to put together a resume worthy of the sport’s biggest individual honor.
“Her volleyball IQ is very, very high,” said the six-year coach, whose team is ranked eighth in Class B. “She’s been in almost every situation as far as high schoolers go. Knowing the game in and out is one of her strong suits.”
Despite all Norris has accomplished in three years — she was a Class B first-team all-state pick in 2015 — the 6-foot-3 outside hitter is on a quest to do what no one in her school’s history has been able to: win a regional title. Coming into her senior season, Norris said that was of the utmost importance and said it could also help her in her individual endeavors, as well.
“That’s important for me and my team,” Norris said. “I just need to do what I’ve done in the past and lead my team. (I need to) help my team become better players and try to become a better volleyball player myself.”
Carnell said Norris, who is already in the top 10 of the state’s all-time kills list, has taken the leadership role a step further this season.
“She’s really embraced the role more,” she added. “When she started getting these awards a few years ago, her immediate response when I told the team about it was, ‘Well, I couldn’t have done it without you guys.’ She’s really into the team idea.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.