best of preps

Buena senior Emma Messerle during a home game against Mountain View last month.

Region player of the year and offensive player of the year Emma Messerle didn’t think those awards would be used to describe her. But after a stellar senior season she was awarded those recognitions.

The Buena High standout said the awards aren’t why she plays the game but it was nice to receive the awards.

“I was, initially, very shocked,” she said “I wasn’t really expecting it.”

In 33 sets played during the regular season she had 78 kills with a 47.3 kill percentage, 21 aces and 16 blocks.

Messerle started playing volleyball in the eighth grade. She decided to try the sport because her father played it and suggested it. Ever since, she has been hooked.

“I’m committed to volleyball,” Messerle said. “I never felt a need to join another sport.”

The senior said her favorite part of the game is after a big point or play when her teammates celebrate and get excited.

“I love the excitement that comes with it,” Messerle said. “I love the teamwork and I really like the atmosphere.”

Buena volleyball coach Todd Bradbury is thrilled to see the success Messerle is having despite being a “late comer” to the sport.

“I have actually known her her whole life,” he said. “Her dad and I actually played volleyball against each other in high school back in Pennsylvania. So to be able to coach her and see her accomplish so much has truly been an amazing experience.”

Messerle said her dad, Eric, is one of her biggest supporters. Despite being unable to attend games, he watches them online and provides support for Messerle. The senior admitted she questioned whether or not to play this season because of the uncertainties that lingered ahead of the season because of the coronavirus. It was her dad that motivated her to play her final high school season.

“I wasn’t going to play but I decided to tough it out,” Messerle said. “I was discouraged by the ups and downs. There was no straight path. My dad motivated me. He always taught us if you start something you finish it. And this was my last season.”

Messerle and her teammates were the first Colts team to earn an automatic seat in the state tournament since 2006. Buena finished as the No. 3 team in the state but lost in its first-round game last weekend.

The senior said her favorite part of the season was after Buena’s final regular season game at Rincon.

“It was a tough battle but we stuck it out,” she said. “When we came together in a huddle after the match it felt more like a family than a team.”

After graduating in May, Messerle will attend Pima Community College and study to be a registered nurse. In early November she signed a letter of intent to play for the Aztecs volleyball team.

“I wanted to do their nursing program for a while, so it worked out,” Messerle said. “I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was little. I like the caring for people aspect (of the job).”

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