Under coach Tiara Boyd, Matoaca volleyball made a historic postseason run this year to the 5A state tournament, a first in school history. Now, two players have reaped the benefits of their hard work and success in the classroom and on the court. Senior Mackenzy Johnson has committed to play Division I volleyball at Norfolk State, and junior Lani Mason has cone the same for Delaware.
“When I stepped on campus, I fell in the love,” Johnson said. “I know people from both James River and Matoaca and I felt comfortable there and really related to the coaching staff.”
“Delaware has good academics and a beautiful campus,” said Mason. “I just knew this was the right choice for me to get what I’m looking for with college volleyball.”
Johnson has completed a record-setting career as a setter, starting at James River and moving to Matoaca her junior year. The setter controls the flow of the offense, much like a quarterback in football or a point guard in basketball. During her four-year career, she amassed an astounding 2,674 assists, won three conference championships. Her teams finished with a record of 71-21 during that same four-year span.
Mason rose to the occasion as one of the top hitters in the area. She earned All-Conference accolades as a freshman and hasn’t looked back, garnering awards in each of her three high school seasons to date. Her athletic ability, especially her leaping, makes her a dangerous weapon.
The sport of volleyball has been a ‘bull market’ the past five years, as clubs like Richmond Volleyball have helped the sport gain popularity.
“We are really proud to see how our talent level in girls’ volleyball has grown over the past 15 years,” said Matoaca athletic director Charles Payton. “The number of girls participating in travel ball during the offseason really made a big difference. We are so proud of our girls to have made it to states for the first time.”
Johnson and Mason join Jaelyn Jackson, a 2014 graduate of Matoaca, as Division I volleyball student-athletes. Jackson is a redshirt sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.