Muncy makes her way to Montreat

Owen volleyball player signs with the Cavaliers

Fred McCormick

Just a few weeks ago, Owen senior Sarah Muncy had yet to decide where she would go to college. But the former Warlassies volleyball player had decided her high school sport would not factor into the decision.

On May 10, surrounded by friends and family, Muncy brought her future into focus as she signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Montreat College.

“It’s crazy and exciting,” Muncy said inside the Owen High School media center, where the signing took place. “I never thought for a second that I would be playing volleyball at the collegiate level in August.”

Sarah Muncy, surrounded by friends, family and high school coach Jenny Johnson, signs a letter of intent to play volleyball at Montreat College.

Muncy was not heavily recruited out of high school, where she played libero and defensive specialist for the Warlassies. In the age of travel teams, which make individual sports more of a year-round endeavor, Muncy’s sole experience came from her time playing in school.

“I started playing in eighth grade,” she said. “I loved it, and I tried out in high school. I never played travel (volleyball), and normally the athletes that play at that level are the ones who go on to play in college.”

Not playing on a travel team didn’t keep Muncy from working to improve her game.

“I put in tons of work,” she said. “Even though I wasn’t thinking I would be seen by any colleges, I was pushing to elevate my game so I could help my team by doing what I was supposed to be doing on and off the court.”

Signing with Montreat College wasn't the only thing that brought a smile to senior Sarah Muncy's face on May 10. After she signed to play volleyball for the Cavaliers, fellow senior and standout Owen athlete Brian Bartlett asked her to the prom.

Warlassies head coach Jenny Johnson, who was one of four volleyball coaches Muncy played for during her career at Owen, said the signing sends a great message to the team.

“The girls see that if you work really hard there are opportunities out there," she said. "If they work hard, things will happen for them.”

Kristy Kamer, who coached the Montreat Cavaliers to a 14-19 record last season, her fifth as the team’s head coach, cited Muncy’s work ethic as just one of the reasons she would be a good fit.

“When we first met Sarah we immediately felt that she just fit what we’re looking for in a student at Montreat,” Kamer said. “She has to work hard on the court, but she’ll get there. Her positivity is real bonus too.”

The opportunity to stay close to home while attending college was appealing to Muncy as well.

"I wanted to be able to stay close to my family because I love them so much," she said. "I'm so happy to have this chance."

Muncy is the second Owen player to sign with Montreat College in the last six months - 2016 graduate Emily Price signed to play for the Cavaliers last December. Muncy is looking forward to playing with her former teammate.

“(Emily) is my girl,” Muncy said. “She initially texted me about coming to Montreat College to play. We’ve always been great friends.”

Price, who has known Muncy since middle school, contacted her friend when she learned Kamer was looking for a defensive specialist.

“She came in and practiced with us and told me she was really nervous,” Price said of Muncy. “She did a really good job, so I think coach (Kamer) thought she’d be a good fit.”

Last season was the best by a Montreat volleyball program since the 2013 season, when the Cavaliers went 18-16. The team had a winning record (12-10) in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Junior Kendra Johnson earned an honorable mention on the 2016 Tachikara-NAIA All-America Team in December. She was also recognized as an All-State First Team libero by the N.C. Collegiate Sports Information Association.