Oakridge volleyball is currently one of the top teams in our VYPE DFW Volleyball Rankings. Helping lead the team is junior six-rotation outside hitter, Megan Weldon. VYPE DFW has selected Weldon to be the Recruit of the Week and interviewed her regarding her success on the court with Oakridge so far.
The offseason can feel long for sports like volleyball and because of that, finding focus and being able to remain focused leading into the school year can be difficult. One of the best ways you can stay involved in your sport as an athlete is continuing to participate in the game as much as possible- even outside of the season. For Weldon, this not only looks like playing indoor volleyball for both her school and club teams but staying involved by playing sand volleyball as well. "When I'm not playing indoor volleyball, I enjoy training and competing in sand volleyball tournaments in addition to conditioning and weightlifting."
On A New School, A New Season, & Success
Weldon is new to the Oakridge squad, but has already put up quite the stats for the team. Weldon has over 85 kills, over 70 digs, and a handful of aces to her name. During the Houston Open Tournament, Weldon was even named to the All-Tournament Team. When Oakridge took on Nazarene Christian, Weldon posted a 0.818 kill percentage and in a later game against Grapevine Faith, she posted a 3.00 passing average.
As a new athlete to the team, Weldon has already made quite the impact. With great stats, she has proven to be successful on the court. The success, however, she credits to the team. "I feel like the secret to our success this season is that each and every girl on our team truly wants the best for each other," Weldon told VYPE. "This team does a really good job of building each other up- which goes a long way. In addition to that, our hard work, grit, and chemistry pushes us to be our best so that we can compete and be successful."
So far, Weldon has made great memories with Oakridge, but at the top of the list of favorites is playing in the Houston Open Tournament. "We played quite a few great teams and ended up finishing fourth overall. I look forward to some rematches! I was also selected to the All-Tournament Team which was so exciting!"
What's in Store?
With the season already underway, Weldon has had plenty of things to look forward to. As Oakridge plows their way through their schedule, Weldon looks forward to a playoff run. "I'm really looking forward to the SPC District Playoffs," Weldon remarked. "I am so excited for our team to ball out against some tough competition! I also think that we have what it takes to make it far."
Setting goals is huge for any athlete. Weldon does the best that she can in order to get better with each time she steps onto the court. "Every time I set foot in the gym, I try to get better through every rep in order to grow s a player and teammate. I want to know that after every practice I am better than the day before. I think if I can do this, then I am steps closer to reaching the goals I've set for myself and for my future."
As far as setting a team goal, giving each moment effort and determination is important to Weldon. "My team goal is for all of us to give 110% at every game; no matter what. We are not going down without a fight!" Weldon added that her mindset going in to this season has been led by the determination to win an SPC State Title.
A Bright Future
Although Weldon is currently uncommitted, she has not ruled out the possibility of playing volleyball in college and has set specific standards for programs that will make the right one jump out to her. "I am looking for a program whose team culture promotes pushing each other to become the best player possible in addition to helping players grow both on and off the court," Weldon told VYPE. "I look forward to finding a school and volleyball program that is a great fit soon!"
Weldon has decided what she wants to major in just yet, but she has plenty of time to decide. For now, there are quite a few areas of study that pique her interest. "Some areas that interest me are medicine, psychology, kinesiology, and sports management."
Favorite professional sports team?
"My favorite professional sports team is Athletes Unlimited. I'm so excited to see a women's professional volleyball team!"
Who do you look up to as an athlete?
"My favorite athlete is Jhenna Gabriel, the current setter for the University of Texas. She is driven, determined, and has a lot of spunk which all makes her an incredible player to watch."
If you could go to dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you want to talk to them about?
"I would go to dinner with Kerri Walsh Jennings. I think it would be incredible to hear her story about how she got to where she is today as well as benefit from any advice she has to offer."
IN 2019, FULSHEAR'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM WON 45 OF 49 GAMES EN ROUTE TO THE CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.
Last year, Fulshear was almost on top of the world again but fell in the Class 5A State Final in a sweep to Lucas Lovejoy.
Lesson No. 1 from last season's result had little to do with anything on the court.
It was all between the ears.
"Mental is probably 60-percent of the game for any athlete, and I feel like going into that (Lovejoy) game there was a lot of preparation that did and didn't happen," senior Brielle Warren said. "There were a lot of things that went unsaid and a lot of wrong things that were said. I think the mental side got to us, where our minds were somewhere else."
Coach Sydney Zimmerman agreed.
"I think we probably got a little bit ahead of ourselves," Zimmerman said. "I think we felt like we rolled through everybody in the playoffs fairly easily, and it put us in a spot where we hadn't had to mentally prepare as much as we needed to for that final game.
"It was something that hurt us, something we learned from and something we definitely won't let happen again."
While Zimmerman admits her club is big on routine, she said she will change things here and there during the season, so her team is more prepared.
The balance is, while changes are to be made in some aspect, Fulshear shouldn't stray too far from a proven recipe for success. There is a culture and standard intact. The bottom line is the Chargers were still state runner-ups in their first year competing in Class 5A.
"A lot of programs see things and chase things, and even we'll have moments of that," Warren said. "But I think we try really hard to not chase a standard and hold ourselves to it, and we're envisioning it and and working towards it."
3 Things to Watch: Fulshear
FRESH FACES: The Chargers will introduce a trio of talented freshmen this year. They are outside hitter/right side Bailey Warren (sister of Brielle), Avery Pruitt and defensive specialist Sydney Black.
BEING THEMSELVES: "What makes us different is a lot of us get to be ourselves. There's a lot of programs I've known where everyone is trying to fit the same standard and there's a lot of tenseness because everyone is trying to be this or be that. For us, we're just ourselves, and we're getting our own rewards out of that." - Senior Brielle Warren
DISTRICT TITANS: Fulshear has won 29 consecutive district games and only lost one district contest in the last three seasons.