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Marshall christian school’s meriel chupp will play volleyball for covenant college. She will be marshall christian school’s first college athlete. She celebrated her historic accomplishment with a signing ceremony march 1. She receives support from her parents, david and shirley chupp, and back row, from left, former MCS coach april holsonback, her club coach hollie richards of NASA in huntsville, MCS assistant coach ginger williams, MCS head coach alan thacker, MCS athletic director bryant O’donnell and MCS principal roy bryant.

Marshall christian school’s meriel chupp will play volleyball for covenant college. She will be marshall christian school’s first college athlete. She celebrated her historic accomplishment with a signing ceremony march 1.

She receives support from her parents, david and shirley chupp, and back row, from left, former MCS coach april holsonback, her club coach hollie richards of NASA in huntsville, MCS assistant coach ginger williams, MCS head coach alan thacker, MCS athletic director bryant O’donnell and MCS principal roy bryant.Marshall christian the reporter | shannon J. Allen

“whenever I wasn’t playing, I found myself always wanting to be playing volleyball instead of basketball. I’d be like setting the basketball or something. It was always like constant volleyball on my mind. That was when I was kind of like, ‘OK, maybe this is more of my thing.’”

Chupp closed out her prep career by leading marshall christian to its first alabama christian athletic association state tournament championship. The stallions toppled four-time defending champion tuscaloosa christian in the finals.

“it was totally unexpected and amazing,” chupp said. “I totally believed my team could do it, but we just were not expected to win. We were going up against a team who has won state the past four years, tuscaloosa christian, and they’re an amazing team.Marshall christian

Tuscaloosa christian defeated the stallions 16-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 to force the if-necessary match in the finals. MCS prevailed 25-21, 18-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-11. The matches lasted a total of 4 ½ hours.

“we had a 10-minute break between those two games, and I was literally sitting on the bench crying,” chupp said. “I was like, ‘I can’t do another game.’ it was pretty cool to see god push me through that, because I could not have done that.”

Chupp was voted the state tournament’s most valuable player. She earned a .448 hitting percentage (kills minus errors divided by attempts) over five matches at state, with 5.6 kills per set and 0.6 aces per set.

Chupp played club volleyball the last two years for the north alabama spikers association, commonly known as NASA, of huntsville on the 181 team, which is the 18-and-under top team.Christian school’s

She delivered the kill on the final point in the championship match of the NASA bash as the host team took the title the weekend of feb. 23-25. Former alabama star hollie richards coaches NASA.

“meriel played middle for us. I could see her playing either right side or middle for covenant,” MCS head coach alan thacker said. “she’s a solid blocker and her approach footwork is conducive for the right.

“she could easily be just a front-row player in college, but she was a six-rotation player for us and was even a passer in our three-player receive. I think those really helped her floor defensive skills and her passing.

“with club volleyball, AAU basketball and travel softball and baseball, kids from smaller schools, as well as larger ones, can get the opportunity to compete against as strong of competition as their skills allow.”

chupp said

“it really came down to I felt like that was where my home was,” chupp said. “I had a few other offers from other schools for basketball and volleyball, and as much as I really did love all the other schools, I just decided on covenant a couple of weeks ago.

“but covenant, I just loved the people. I loved their coach. I love where it is, and I love the campus. All the teachers and all the students I met the few times I’ve been there, I just loved them. I felt like I got that community and family feel, and that’s what I really wanted.”

Last season, covenant college won 22 of its final 24 matches, including a program record 17 straight. The lady scots won their third straight USA south west division title, were regionally ranked by the NCAA for the first time, won the USA south tournament championship and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.Chupp said

“I’m excited just to get on the team and grow as an athlete,” chupp said. “all of my coaches I’ve ever had have pushed me and have all contributed so much, and I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve had.

“it’s probably going to take a little while for me to get in the hang of things there and figure out how they do things and what they’ll need from me.”

“my parents are the most supportive parents I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I know everyone says that, but I really can’t think of more than one game ever either of my parents have ever missed.