Scheels Athlete of the Week: West High’s Lacy Following Up Strong Debut Season With Stellar Sophomore Campaign
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – As a freshman making her varsity volleyball debut Melae’ Lacy felt like she had to prove she belonged.
In short – Lacy wanted to make a statement.
Lacy did just that – leading West High in kills last season as a freshman.
With a year of varsity volleyball under her belt and the pressure of making a strong first debut gone Lacy has taken her game up another notch this season.
“Last year I walked in as a freshman and I had to make a statement,” Lacy said. “This year I don’t have to make a statement, everyone knows who I am and I just have to keep that same passion and energy.”
Lacy hammered a team-high 200 kills in 78 sets as a freshman helping West High double its win total from 2019 with a 13-15 season.
This season Lacy has still made a statement but it has been a slightly different one.
Rather than focusing on bursting on to the varsity scene Lacy has showed this season she is much more than just a powerful presence at the net.
“This year I’ve been working on different parts of the game and showing people I can do more than just hit,” Lacy said. “I can pass, I can serve I can do everything. I definitely feel like I am more versatile this year.”
Lacy has already eclipsed her freshman totals in blocks, digs and ace serves this season while helping West High to a No. 11 ranking in Class 5A and a 12-12 record.
The sophomore standout had 17 kills on Tuesday in a four-set win over Dubuque Senior as West High finished 6-1 in conference play and secured a share of the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division title.
“Her volleyball IQ has gone through the roof I feel like,” West High coach Keeley Arnold said. “In club she was playing middle so she has a good idea of a lot of different positions on the court so that is really helpful as well.”
As a freshman Lacy wanted to make an early statement and the way she chose to do that was with powerful swings.
An explosive athlete at 5-foot-11 Lacy showed a knack for slamming balls straight to the floor early in her career.
This season Lacy has become a more well-rounded attacker adding a variety of shots to her arsenal.
“I think I have improved on working on my shots, different hits not everything always just power,” Lacy said. “That is my main thing is power, everyone knows I can hit it hard. This year I am worked on my different shots.
Lacy has 178 kills in 67 sets this season, an average of 2.65 per set which is up from last season.
She also has 30 blocks, 65 digs and 16 ace serves this season.
Part of what Lacy learned while playing her first varsity season in the middle of pandemic is to enjoy each day.
That is something that she has carried over into this season.
“I think I personally learned that you can’t take anything for granted because any game any day you could learn that you can’t be playing volleyball anymore,” Lacy said. “I want to focus on each day and getting the chance to play.”