After her team's season wrapped up,
volleyball coach Ashley Atkinson mentally thought about who her seniors would be for next fall.
One name that quickly jumped to mind was Mya LeVaughn
. But, wait, LeVaughn won't be a senior until the following year.
Just because LeVaughn's been a two-year starter with so much experience and is one of the team's go-to players, Atkinson keeps thinking she's older than she actually is. No, Atkinson just finished her sophomore season on the court.
"Very mature player; she's a great leader," Atkinson said. "The kids all follow what she does."
LeVaughn was the only freshman starter in 2017 on the Leander team. She played right side and was a great asset to her teammates. It's never easy for a freshman to step into varsity-level competition after playing middle school volleyball the previous year.
"At first it was really intimidating, but my coaches and my teammates really helped me push through it and get the hang of it of playing at a higher level," LeVaughn said.
As a sophomore, Atkinson moved LeVaughn to outside hitter, her natural position. Despite a little shorter at 5-foot-10, LeVaughn stepped up to the challenge.
"She really excelled there," Atkinson said. "She just improves every time she steps on the court."
The 16-year-old feels like she became a stronger player as a sophomore.
"I've seen my confidence get a lot stronger and I've also seen my play get a lot smarter, too," LeVaughn said. "I'm not that tall and I know that I'm going to have to be good on the mental side, also."
Atkinson really pondered moving LeVaughn to setter at the beginning of her sophomore campaign. The coach said she has great ball control. After playing four rotations this year, Atkinson is anticipating LeVaughn will be a six-rotation player the rest of her high school career.
"She's such a brilliant player," Atkinson said. "She sees the court very well, she sees what's open. I can put her anywhere because she knows what to do."
LeVaughn also competes for the club squad Austin Junior Volleyball. In 2017, she teamed up with Arden Besecker to place ninth at U14 in the Beach Volleyball Clubs of America (BVCA) National Championship.
As such an accomplished volleyball this early in her career, LeVaughn is already looking at playing collegiately. She thinks she has the talent to play at a small Division I school, but her requirements for school are extremely stringent.
"I just want to look at schools that will support me academically as well as in volleyball," LeVaughn said.
LeVaughn would like to pursue a career as a pediatrician. She's checked out in-state schools Rice and Baylor as options because of their strong medical programs.
LeVaughn excels in the classroom, posting a 5.4 grade point average in her school's 6.0 scale. She is taking all advanced courses this semester and is enrolled in pre-International Baccalaureate (IB). Next year, she'll be able to take full-on IB classes.
Pushing herself academically has always been important.
"I feel like it brings a challenge to myself so I find new things to learn and interesting," LeVaughn said. "It just sparks my interest in different things that I wouldn't think I'd be interested in."
At Leander, LeVaughn is in National Honor Society, HOSA (for future health professionals) and Key Club. She's able to take part in fundraising events through her clubs. In addition, LeVaughn tutors students and babysits when she has time.
Volunteering about three hours per month is something LeVaughn finds extremely rewarding.
"It makes me feel really, really good to help other people be successful and it will allow me to learn from people with their experiences and things they do," said LeVaughn, who is very family-orientated.
"She's an amazing kid," Atkinson said. "You couldn't ask for a better kid."
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