PILOT MOUNTAIN — Bryce Smith, a volleyball libero who played for East Surry High School the past few seasons, signed her National Letter of Intent on Friday to continue her volleyball career at Surry Community College.
The Cardinals finished the 2016 season overall 24-5 and 11-1 in the Northwest 1A volleyball standings. The Lady Cardinals finished the season ranked seventh in the state, and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs, where they lost a close match to eventual state champion Community School of Davidson.
“Bryce is going to bring Surry Community leadership and energy. She is a great leader on the floor and on the bench. She has high energy all the time,” said East Surry volleyball coach Caleb Gilley. “I think she will elevate their defense and the program to a new level, just by her being on the court.”
Smith was injured her senior season and played in just one match, but her high school career is still one to remember, especially with a record-breaking junior season.
Smith’s junior year at East Surry was one that did not lack fulfillment. Smith broke the previous record and set a new record of her own for most dig attempts in a season at 575. In a single match versus Mount Airy, Smith set a then-record for most digs with 36. Smith then later broke her own record, by claiming 40 digs versus East Wilkes.
Also in the 2015 season, Smith played in 102 sets while recording 5.6 digs per set and a total of 575 on the season. Smith tallied 546 serve receptions, 46 aces and posted three kills.
“It is really good to know that I am going to play at least another year, because I have been out senior year with my knee. I am really looking forward to it,” she said. “I think the coach will help get back to how I was before. I am still currently undecided on a major. I think another year at Surry will help me decide on what I want to do, meanwhile playing volleyball.”
“Bryce is super-competitive, a hustler on the floor, and she is a team leader,” said SCC head coach Jan Marion-Kiser. “She is motivational when you are down and she is the best player to have out there to pick players up. I have watched her play since she was in fourth or fifth grade. I know what kind of a player she is. She’s good at anything she does. She is going to give us exactly what we need for offense and defense. She is going to help us speed things up and give us great passing. We are very fortunate that we have really good girls that are coming back next year that can play all the way around. She adds a huge piece of defense and offense that we have been missing. She has proven herself and broken records here at East Surry. After sitting out for a senior season because of a knee injury, I feel as though she will come out and just be more than hungry to be on the floor and more than hungry to be able to play.”
Surry is coming off a 19-9 season in which three former East Surry standouts played a key role on the team. One of the three, Sydney Marion, is projected to return next season. Smith is the third player to sign with Surry this off-season, following Mikayla Thorpe of Forestview and Lexia Wingler of Forbush, who both signed a few days earlier.