From the school to her spot on the roster, Emily Schaffer found the right fit.
The Denison senior’s versatility on the court and her ambitions in the classroom led Schaffer to sign her national letter of intent to play volleyball for Texas A&M-Commerce on Wednesday morning.
She chose the Lady Lions over interest from Delaware State.
“Going to a school that wins all the time wasn’t a major factor. It was a really good combination of academics and athletics,” Schaffer said. “The girls made me feel really welcome. It was a real positive atmosphere.” Schaffer plans on majoring in biology and then pursuing a master’s in nursing. She was awarded an Honors scholarship from the university last week, one of 50 allocated to the incoming freshman class.
The openings on the volleyball team also fit her particular set of skills.
“They were looking for a right side and a setter,” Schaffer said. “They’re going to work me at scout team setter and I’ll be second or third in line for setting. They said there’s a possibility at right side down the road.”
Schaffer was the focal point for the Lady Jacket offense in the first season under head coach Sandy Jones during a 14-23 year.
“It humbled me and gave me the advantage of knowing what it’s like to both win and lose and what I need to do better in practice,” she said.
She was an integral part of Denison’s first playoff appearance in five seasons when the Lady Jackets reached the second round in 2010. A year later the program was on the verge of a postseason return but lost a fourth-place tie-breaker in five games against Mount Pleasant.
Last season Schaffer was a first-team all-district selection and was an honorable mention all-district selection as a sophomore. This year’s all-district picks have not been released because Lovejoy is competing at the state tournament this weekend.
Playing multiple spots throughout her career have helped Schaffer prepare for anything.
“It gave me more respect for each position on the court,” she said. “That’s what I like about playing all over the court.”
But running the offense will always be her favorite thing in trying to help her team win.
“I really love setting,” Schaffer said. “I don’t think I’d pick another position to play. Setting you really have to remember all the aspects of the game. You are involved with everything.”
A&M-Commerce is 20-10 this season, including 11-9 in the Lone Star Conference. The Lady Lions face Texas Woman’s University in the conference quarterfinals tonight. This comes one season after A&M-Commerce went 11-17 and missed the LSC tournament.