Meredith Norris | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Volleyball

– [Sports announcer] The
outside hitter, six three, junior from Corunna Michigan, number three, Meredith Norris! – Growing up and being close
enough to visit the games and see what the culture is here and what Spartan athletics
really just has to offer is, it was an unbelievable experience. I mean I looked forward to every weekend that we could come down here we did. I usually knew every single
person on the roster. I was the little kid waiting to get their
autograph after the game. And just delighted to see them and
have an interaction with them. It made me, definitely
made me feel special, that’s fore sure. – She’s been involved with volleyball since the day she was born. She grew up coming in a car seat, and sitting in a car seat in the stands. She got to interact and
play with the girls. And the girls, you know, treated
her like a little sister. – Her love for volleyball, she
just honed right in on that. When she was young and I was coaching high school volleyball at Corunna, she would sit on the bench, she always wanted to be in drills. She wanted to be on
the bench and learn the game-side of the sport
and would really study it. And when we would come to
games at Michigan State, she would wanna talk about what type of offense they were running. So she was very cerebral about the sports. – Hey mom. – [Nicole] What? – After painting, I need to play my volleyball. – [Nicole] We can play volleyball. Check your thumbs, there we go, ready? – Yep. – [Nicole] Good one! – I remember being in, not small enough to be in
the little little kids camp, but being too young to
be in the overnight camp. And I begged and begged to
go to the overnight camp. And Cathy eventually let me. Every year from then on, my dad signed me up for every single camp. So I got 12 t-shirts every year. I got 12 posters. (crowd cheering) My favorite player was Katie Johnson. She was an outside hitter, number 11. Her picture is up in the
rafters up in the gym out there. – I think it was the excitement, you know there’s always
a lot of energy at games. And… I think she aspired to be an athlete that could
perform at that level, and so I think in her mind, she was thinking this
could be me some day. And she was just always enthusiastic about going and watching any sporting event. – [Meredith] I knew I wanted to play at a high level of volleyball in college, around eighth grade. – She was talking about,
this was going to be her vehicle to go to college. And I said, that’s not
why we’re doing this. We’re doing this because
you love volleyball. And I don’t expect that from you, your dad doesn’t expect that from you. And she said, well I expect it of myself. And so she was very self-motivated. And just embraced the hard work that she knew it was going
to take to get there. You know, you don’t want to place high expectations on your children. And you don’t wanna
set their goals to low, but those were Meredith’s goals, and we just did the best that
we could to facilitate them. – We got to know Meredith early on as her dad is a team doctor
for Michigan State volleyball. You know, so they were at everything. Every single camp. You know, we saw both Mere and Elizabeth and they were, you know just
growing through the program. And we got to see them and see how they were able
to compete in those camps. And we enjoyed having them there, but we got to know them quite a bit. – [Nicole] I’ve watched her grow up and strive for this dream, and when she started to
see that it could happen, I just tried to keep her grounded, and help her make the best
decision that she could. I think it was always
in the back of her mind that this was home. – October of sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to come here. I knew that the level of play that this is where I wanted to be. – I can’t really say it other
than how proud I am of her, and knowing how hard she’s
worked along the way, to be able to make this
dream of hers a reality. – She had a goal at an early age, and just made a commitment
that this is what I want. She’s very self-motivated, and very self-disciplined. She has the athleticism,
she has the knowledge, she has a lot of that package. But if she didn’t have
that internal drive, she wouldn’t have made it this far. – You’re in this community,
you watch Michigan State through all of the sports. You know you’re, you wanna
be a part of that whole, the whole thing. And Meredith has come through that. And so there was high
expectations for her. She has learned to take that in stride. I mean it’s overwhelming at first, and she’s taking that more in stride, and she’s developing her game
as a well-rounded player. And it’s been awesome to watch her grow and develop and mature. And just take that, like I
said, one step at a time, and keeping it in perspective. – I accomplished my first dream, and that was to be able to get here. It was so surreal. I don’t think I really
grasped it all at first. Cause I was like, I’m here first of all. Like this is awesome. When I first put on that jersey in Italy and actually got some decent playing time. I was definitely nervous for
sure, I won’t lie about that. But they definitely gave me the confidence and the strength I needed to pull it out, And just show everyone
that I’m here for a reason. And I can do this. (crowd cheering) (whistle blowing) Being on the court finally, and proving to everyone what
I can do, it is surreal. And I’m just very thankful
for the opportunity because, I can finally show everyone
how hard I’ve been working and what I can do. – All of those little girls out there, having seen that it can be done, that you can go to a small school in the middle of Michigan. And sure, there are
sacrifices that you make. She, you know, missed some dance, or she gave up an opportunity to go to the movies sometimes
because she had practice. That joy and excitement that
she carries onto the court is worth it, and it’s obtainable. It’s possible. – When little girls come up
and ask me where I’m from and they’re from a neighboring school. Just trying to interact with
them and connect with them because I know it makes their
day, cause it made my day when I was in their
place and in their shoes. – [Sports announcer] Meredith Norris! ♪ Put your name on it ♪ (upbeat music)

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