Athlete of Week: DeVaux’s versatility sparks Panthers

cfvol-4digSome coaches like to compare their squads to a tool box, where each player performs certain roles to help the team succeed as a whole. If so, then consider Carolina Forest volleyball standout Meghan DeVaux as sort of a Swiss Army knife, a multi-talented junior who can do it all. That’s one of the many reasons DeVaux was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week.

“Meghan is the type of player that can play every position on the court and excels at it,” said Carolina Forest coach Brittany Drew, who Lady Panthers host James Island in the second round of Class 5A play Tuesday night. “This year she made the transition from being a right-side hitter to the team’s libero. This transition has definitely been a key factor for the Panthers’ success.”

DeVaux joined the varsity squad as an eighth-grader and has worn a lot of different hats in order to earn playing time. Her ability to play a lot of different positions effectively, as well as her leadership, have made DeVaux a fixture on the floor for the Panthers. DeVaux views her diversity as part of her plan to become a complete volleyball player to help her team.

“I like to be useful to my team no matter who I’m playing for,” said DeVaux, who plays volleyball year-round as part of the Grand Strand Juniors club program. “I’ve always focused a little more on defense, but I enjoy hitting too. When you play a lot of positions, you see the court differently. It helps me use my court senses to my advantage and become a better all-around player.”

That mindset has allowed DeVaux to have a big hand in Carolina Forest’s surge this season, going undefeated in region play to claim the 6-5A title and losing only one regular season match, one that the Panthers avenged by defeating non-region rival in a postseason tune-up. The Panthers are now peaking at the right time and playing with a new-found sense of excitement and confidence.

“It’s been a lot of fun this season and a great experience for our team to do so well,” said DeVaux, who leads the team with 280 digs, 271 successful service-received passes and 198 service points, including 31 aces. “We all get along really well and motivate each other, and that really shows on the court. We’ve grown closer as a team and made a lot of progress, and we’re also making a lot of good memories.”

Carolina Forest hopes to make even more this week when they resume playoff action. The Panthers will be facing top teams from around the state from here on out, but Drew is banking on DeVaux and the rest of her players to rise to the occasion. Drew specifically looks to DeVaux to do her part not only on the court, but also rallying her teammates off the floor.

“Beyond her skill set on the court, Meghan is a true leader,” Drew said. “She always gives 100 percent whether at practice or a game. She is positive and pushes her teammates to play harder. Meghan is more than deserving of this award and am so proud of her for all her accomplishments this year.”

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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