Shelby Area prep volleyball players have provided a steady stream of leaders for the Lake Land College Lakers. A trio of girls recently gave the Lakers a boost.

Kristy Burford of Okaw Valley, Maria Gentry of Stew-Stras (WSS), and Morgan Parsons of Shelbyville kept a line of Shelby Area players stoking the Laker fires from 2017, to 2018, to 2019.

When Burford came to Lake Land, she followed four Shelbyville players from the state tournament team that came to Lake Land all at once (2016). When they were sophomores, Burford joined them as a freshman.

Even with that strong sophomore presence from the Rams, Burford, a middle hitter, was a leader with 186 kills, 653 attacks, 130 digs and a team-leading 70 blocks. She scored 240 attack points (kills, aces, blocks).

The next season (2018) Burford tore things up from the right side. She had 289 kills (over 100 more than her freshman year). She had 818 attacks, with 79 blocks and 86 digs. She scored 337 points.

“Kristy was a leader from the moment she stepped onto Lake Land College’s campus as a freshman. Her leadership, smile, poise, willingness to bring the best out of any moment are contagious characteristics.” head coach Ashli Wicker said. “She was a two-year co-captain for reasons that did not go unnoticed all across the entire athletic department and campus.”

Burford’s sophomore year, she was joined by freshman Maria Gentry from Stew-Stras. She had gone to State two years in a row with Windsor/Stew-Stras as a middle hitter.

She had 68 kills, 27 blocks as a prep junior prior to State. She had 6 kills, and a team-high 4 blocks in the State Semifinal. In the State 3rd Place match, she had 6 more kills.

As a prep senior, she had 137 kills, 61 blocks, 13 assists, and 40 digs. In the State Semi she had 7 kills, 2 digs. In the State Championship match she had 1 kill and 4 blocks.

Her freshman year at Lake Land, Gentry had just 50 kills, 126 attacks, 4 aces, 57 digs, and 10 blocks, with 59 points.

However, her sophomore season Gentry was a world beater. She hit 287 kills (230 more than the previous year). She attacked almost 900 times. She scooped 342 digs. She served 21 aces and added 31 blocks for 328 points 269 points more than her freshman year.

Parsons joined Gentry that year from Shelbyville after three 20-win seasons. She hit 249 kills at Shelbyville on 745 attacks. She served 23 aces, scooped 133 digs and stuffed 82 blocks.

At Lake Land, Parsons played outside and scored over 100 kills her first season at the next level (138). She also had over 400 attacks (445). She scooped 61 digs. With 18 aces and 52 blocks, she totaled 188 points.

2019

(So.) Maria Gentry OH, M 38, S 136, K 287, K/S 2.11, E 74, TA 893, Pct .239, Ast 22, Ast/S 0.16, Ace 21, Ace/S 0.15, DG 342, D/S 2.51, BS 9, BA 22, T Blk 31, Blk/S 0.23, Pts 328.0, Pts/S 2.4

(Fr.) Morgan Parsons MH, M 38, S 136, K 138, K/S 1.01, E 56, TA 445, Pct .184, Ast 10, Ast/S 0.07, Ace 18, Ace/S 0.13, DG 61, D/S 0.45, BA 12, BS 40, T Blk 52, B/S 0.38, Pts 188.0, Pts/S 1.4

2018

(So.) Kristy Burford RS: M 41, S 146, K 289, K/S 1.98, ER 110, TA 818, Pct .219, Ast 3, Ast/S 0.02, Ace 5, Ace/S 0.03, DG 86, D/S 0.59, BS 7, BA 72, T Blk 79, B/S 0.54, Pts 337.0, B/S 2.3

(Fr.) Maria Gentry MH: M18, S 28, K 50, K/S 1.79, E 25, TA 126, Pct .198, Ast 3, Ast/S 0.11, Ace 4, Ace/S 0.14, DG 57, D/S 2.04, BS 0, BA 10, T Blk 10, Blk/S 0.36, Pts 59.0, Pts/S 2.1

2017

(Fr.) Kristy Burford OH: MS 32, M 36, Sets 121, Kills 186, K/S 1.54, E 86, TA 653, Pct .153, Ast 24, A 12, Dg 130, Blk 70 (BS 14, BA 56), Pts 240.0

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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