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In the college recruiting process, whether at a two- or four-year school, the term “ideal fit” is often thrown around. To find such, athletes often speak of the home-like feel of the campus or the relationship they enjoy with future coaches and teammates.
But for Hunt High senior Michaela Evans, her commitment to play volleyball at Lenoir Community College represents a much more practical approach. Evans, an aspiring emergency medical technician, will be taking part in one of the largest paramedic training programs in the state.
So when first-year LCC head coach Lee Avery extended a scholarship offer, it didn’t take long for Evans to seize the opportunity of combining a college volleyball career while working toward her future goals as a professional. Therefore, Evans, in front of coaches, teammates and family members, recently signed her National Letter of Intent to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Lady Lancers in the Hunt auditorium.
She gave consideration to other schools, including Louisburg College, but quickly zeroed in on LCC.
“LCC has a good EMT program, which I really want to do,” Evans said. “That was my main thing, the career I chose. It’s the career.”
A right-side hitter at Hunt, Evans played travel volleyball with the Carolina Shockwave, coached by current Charles B. Aycock coach Tangela Faulkner. Faulkner informed Evans that she had a player worthy of a look, and one day, Evans’ travel team scrimmaged the Shockwave.
Avery was quickly sold on the fire and passion of the player they call “Red.”
“I was telling her mother, the first time I saw her play, she got hurt in a match, but came back,” he said. “You could tell she was hurting, but she didn’t want to stop playing. That shows me heart and drive, and that’s the kind of player we’re looking for, the player that has the drive to win ad has the heart to want to be in the game at all times.
Evans, the daughter of Michael and Kathy Evans of Lucama, was third on the Lady Warriors in kills at 151 and was third in aces with 40. In three years on the Hunt varsity roster — all under the direction of Tiffany Rowe — Hunt was a combined 42-28 and won a Big East regular-season championship in 2016. The Lady Warriors’ only losses in conference regular-season play have been at the hands of Franklinton.
Evans’ on-floor passion has led her to work on her attitude as she prepares for the next level. However, that is tempered with a confidence that is rarely, if ever, shaken.
“You can’t have a bad attitude towards the coach, or they will sit you out,” Evans said. “I have experience with that. You have to have a good attitude towards your coach. You have to like your coach — if you don’t like your coach and the coach doesn’t like you, then there’s no need for you to be on the team.”