Libby McKinney sets four Lady Wave volleyball records in four year career. (L-R) Jim Hardesty, Libby McKinney, Michelle Hardesty. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

McKinney leaves volleyball legacy at Greenville

Three year Lady Wave Captain, Libby McKinney sets four Greenville volleyball records as a four year starter

GREENVILLE – Greenville senior, Libby McKinney the daughter of Anne and Mike McKinney completed a successful four year varsity volleyball career for the Lady Wave and left a lasting impression on the program.

“Libby was a four year starter and three year captain for the Lady Wave,” said Greenville volleyball coach, Michelle Hardesty. “She made the team go.  She is an incredible athlete, and a dynamic setter.  Her aggressive play and leadership has made a huge impact on Greenville Volleyball Program.”

“Her tremendous example of hard work and dedication over the last four years was a key to turning the Greenville program around,” Hardesty added. “Libby has made a lasting impression, she has left footprints to be followed for many seasons to come and will be truly missed.”

“Jim and Shellie for sure,” McKinney said of her high school coaches, Jim and Michelle Hardesty – the ones she wanted to thank most for her volleyball career at GHS. “They committed and put all into me and that gave me the chance. I either had to run with it or I could have given it away, and I ran with it. It’s the best decision I have ever made. Looking back I wish I would have worked harder, I would have put more hours in.”

The scrappy Lady Wave senior leaves her name in the record books with four all-time Greenville volleyball records.

Assists 2134 – Career School Record (2018-2021)

Assists 733 – Season Record set as a sophomore (2019)

Aces – 166 – Career School Record (2018 – 2021)

Aces 62 – Season Record set senior season (2021)

McKinney also reached two major milestones playing for the Lady Wave volleyball program:

Reached 1000 sets: Sept 17, 2020 vs Fairborn

Reached 2000 sets: Oct 5, 2021 vs Xenia

McKinney was named First Team MVL both her junior (2020) and senior (2021) seasons and was Second Team MVL her sophomore (2019) year.

McKinney was named First Team District 9 for 2021 and will play in the District 9 All-Star Game at Troy High School, Wednesday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m.

The Miami Valley League is made up of 10 teams, eight of which are large Division I schools and two MVL schools including Greenville competing as a smaller Division II school.

McKinney performed among the leaders of the MVL in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons playing for the Lady Wave.

2019 – MVL Stats

1st in Assists

11th in Aces

2020 – MVL Stats

1st in Assists

3rd in Aces

2021 – MVL Stats:

2nd in Aces

3rd in Assists

9th in Digs

Of the four records the Greenville senior holds, McKinney says the season assist record was the most difficult to earn.

“The amount that I got in a season was like insane but that was Hunter Class and Abbie Yoder,” McKinney said of her junior season assists. “They had pretty much every kill.”

“We run the 5-1 which means I am the only setter,” said McKinney. “The record was pretty high, the girl that held it before held pretty much every record.”

McKinney enjoys setting the most of the different aspects of the game of volleyball, “definitely setting,” stated McKinney.

“Having good hands,” she said of her setting skills. “It’s not really a learned thing – some people just naturally have really soft hands.”

McKinney had to learn the proper technique of serving as OHSAA officials will often call the “double hit” when setting the ball for a teammate.

“My freshman year I struggled because in junior high they don’t call doubles – that is not a call they make so you go in thinking I have good hands and then you play your first game. My freshman year pretty much every other one was a double that I set so it definitely took a lot of practice, a lot of hand strength. Some refs are pickier than others. The new call is more of a hold than a double because girls got away with holding the ball a lot longer because they didn’t way to have a double.”

Two names McKinney also gives credit to for her high school volleyball success: “Coach Amy Schoen and Brooke Stachler (senior) my freshman year.  We ran a 6-2 my freshman year so it was nice to have Brooke’s leadership being a senior and me being a freshman. She had a lot of good advice and Coach Schoen hadn’t even been a setter when she played but she had really good hands and she really pushed me to be better – she really helped me.”

A record that slipped up on McKinney; the ACE school record.

“I had no idea that I was that close to the ace record,” McKinney noted. “I had no clue that I was going to break the career or the season record. I didn’t even think about my serving being the way it was until I was looking at a paper to see if was close to the assist record and I was only four away – our coaches didn’t know either because my thing is setting not serving.”

Serving as Captain of any high school sport usually goes to a senior leader and on a few occasions goes to a junior player. McKinney had the honor of serving as Lady Wave volleyball team Captain for three seasons and was a four year starter.

“Definitely,” McKinney said of pressure as a sophomore captain and freshman starter. “Especially since I was the only freshman on varsity my freshman year and then my sophomore year I was the only sophomore. It was a lot of learning new girls and that isn’t always taken well when an underclassman comes in and takes their spot but a lot has to do with my position.”

“If you’re not a setter you don’t understand that you’re in control of what is going on and that is a big mental thing. Jim (Assistant Coach Hardesty) and I sit on the sideline together and we talk things through. I have to run things on the court so he doesn’t have to yell at everybody”

“It was a lot of pressure at first but it came like second nature and being a leader is what I love to do. I love to help everybody out. Since Jim and Shellie have come we have swept every volleyball record pretty much. There is only one or two left so to them that is an amazing thing.”

Greenville plays in the tough Miami Valley League (MVL) made up of eight “big” Division I schools while GHS is just one of two smaller Division II schools.

“Tippecanoe having five girls that are 6’-2” – we don’t have big girls like that come through so I think it makes us work harder as a team because we realize we are at a disadvantage for physical ability. I really don’t think about that – you just go out and play no matter who you are playing,” said the 5’8” McKinney.

The just completed 2021 high school volleyball season saw two Lady Wave freshman, Lilly Camacho and Brooke Schmidt make the starting lineup, not often seen at the DII level.

“I tell Brooke if I was a tall as you, that would be awesome,” McKinney said with a chuckle. “Brooke and Lilly are both tall. Another two years, three years – I would love to be in their grade, I would chew that up. That’s the thing, our class we’re athletic – we’re just not very big.”

With her high school volleyball career now complete, McKinney encourages young girls to take up the sport she loves.

“Volleyball is a hard sport when you are little,” said McKinney. “It’s not meant to be played when you’re little but keep working, don’t give up on it. In junior high it can be kind of discouraging because nobody is very good but it will click.”

“The more you play the better you get – just do it if you love it,” McKinney concluded. “I was a basketball girl and I fell in love with volleyball and I have never give that up. It’s awesome.”

2018 GHS freshman, Libby McKinney makes a set for the Lady Wave volleyball team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
2019 Lady Wave sophomore, Libby McKinney goes to the serving line for Greenville. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
2020 Lady Wave junior, Libby McKinney sets the ball for the Greenville volleyball team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
2021 Lady Wave senior, Libby McKinney goes strong to the net for Greenville volleyball team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
2021 Lady Wave senior, Libby McKinney puts up a set for Greenville Senior High School volleyball team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser

Gaylen Blosser / Publisher

Gaylen Blosser is a sports enthusiast and has covered high school sports for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio. Gaylen has been a media sportswriter while most recently serving as Sports Editor for the local newspaper and will now serve as editor of Darke County Now while continuing to cover athletics. Gaylen is an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years and is the recipient of the OHSAA Friends of Athletes Award and OHSAA Respect the Game State Award. Contact Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser at gblosser@darkecountynow.com or 937-459-9547.

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