As her team’s libero, Devynn Merriman uses a fairly basic formula to determine how well she played in a particular match:
The fewer balls hitting the floor, the better.
Merriman, a four-year starter for Center Grove, has been as integral to the Trojans’ 15-1 record this season as Madison Hammill’s sets or the spikes of seniors Ellen LeMasters and Emma Jones.
“I love being a libero because you’re on the floor all the time,” the 5-foot-7 senior said. “They are the playmakers. We keep the ball off the floor. My mindset is to make people’s mouths drop, like, ‘How did she get that?’ ”
Merriman’s foot speed, lateral movement and fearlessness were first displayed as a softball shortstop when she was younger. Merriman began playing club volleyball at age 9 and found the sport more to her liking.
It’s a connection that has only grown stronger over the years.
“For me, volleyball is more like my getaway place if I’m stressed about something at school or at home,” Merriman said. “It helps that I have great teammates, and I love the position I play.
“Like any sport, you can get tired of volleyball if it’s a long season, but there’s never been a time I wanted to quit. There’s something new every day.”
Home-schooled through seventh grade, Merriman began attending Center Grove Middle School North as an eighth-grader. The following fall she was a varsity starter for former Trojans coach Dana Daprile.
Last spring, Merriman verbally committed to Indiana State University. An outstanding student (3.6 grade-point average), Merriman in November will sign a letter of intent to play volleyball for the Sycamores beginning in the 2018-19 school year.
She is currently undecided on a major.
Merriman’s focus currently is on trying to lead Center Grove to a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference title (the Trojans were attempting to improve to 4-0 at home against Warren Central on Tuesday).
After that, she’ll attempt to dive, lunge, reach and bump the program as deep into the postseason as possible.
Center Grove volleyball held a record of 102-20 in Merriman’s four seasons playing varsity entering the Warren Central match. She’s a talented player who’s enjoyed the good fortune of being surrounded by other talented players.
Everything about her Trojans’ career, literally and figuratively, Merriman can dig it.
SHE CAN DIG IT
Career statistics for Center Grove libero Devynn Merriman: