By David Fong
TROY —Camryn Moeller’s recruiting trips took her right through the heart of the South.
In the end, however, home was where the heart was for the Troy High School senior.
“I’m an Ohio girl at heart,” said Moeller, who recently signed her national letter of intent to attend school and play volleyball at the University of Toledo. “I liked that it was a pretty good distance away. I visited other places. I had an offer from UNC-Greensboro and I visited a school in Alabama — but Toledo was definitely the right spot for me.
“The campus is beautiful. I definitely wanted to go to a place with a beautiful campus. And it’s close enough that my parents can come watch me play. They can also come watch me play at the other schools in the (Mid-American Conference), too. Toledo is the perfect distance for me.”
And the Rockets didn’t have to look far to find a standout player in Moeller, who becomes the third Troy volleyball player in three years to sign a Division I college scholarship, joining Lauren Freed (College of Charleston) and Katie DeMeo (West Virginia University).
This past fall, Moeller was named the Greater Western Ohio Conference American League Co-Athlete of the Year, first-team All-GWOC and fist-team All-GWOC American. She led the entire GWOC in kills with 314, was third in aces (66), fifth in digs (302) and 10th in blocks (52). As a junior, she was named first-team All-GWOC American as she was eighth in the GWOC in kills (209) and seventh in aces (57). Her sophomore year, she was second-team All-GWOC North Division.
So diverse is her game and so impressed was Toledo by her work ethic that the Rockets see no problem in moving the 5-foot-8 Moeller from outside hitter, her primary position at Troy, to libero or defensive specialist at the college level. While her athleticism and leaping ability allowed her to play hitter for the Trojans, she honed her other skills while playing year-round for her Elite Volleyball club team.
Troy volleyball coach Michelle Owen said Moeller’s commitment to play volleyball the entire year went a long way in earning her a college scholarship.
“She played hitter for us, because that’s what we felt was best for our team,” Owen said. “We knew she was either going to have to grow or work on her defensive skills if she wanted to play in college. She didn’t grow, so she kept working on her defensive skills. Anymore, the kids who earn college scholarships play year-round. Most of the college recruiting is actually done during the club season. Rarely is a primary recruiting trip done during the high school season.
“If our kids want to play at a high level, they usually have to play with one of the club teams over in Columbus. A lot of times, Camryn would practice from 8-10 p.m. with her club team in Columbus, which means she probably wasn’t getting home until around midnight, then going to the school the next day. It’s an unbelievable sacrifice she’s made to get where she is now. But that’s the kind of kid she is. She’s an incredibly hard worker.”
Moeller said she came relatively late to the sport of volleyball, but once she started, it quickly became her first love.
“I had only played CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) volleyball when I was younger,” she said. “I started playing club when I was in the sixth grade. During my sophomore year, I realized volleyball was for me. This is my sport. Probably after my junior season of high school volleyball is when I started hearing from colleges. That was a pretty big confidence booster for me.”
Moeller verbally committed to the Rockets last March and signed her letter of intent late last week during the NCAA’s early signing period. With that out of the way, she said she’s looking forward to her college career.
“The coaches there were super nice and they had my major, business and marketing,” she said. “I really did love everything about it at Toledo. It’s the perfect fit for me.”
Right in the heart of it all.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong