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Olympians' standout senior to play for NAIA volleyball team


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IU-Kokomo volleyball coach Heather Hayes had scanned the Internet trying to find information about Columbus East High School senior Micayla Speidel.

She had heard good things from East coach Faith Wilder-Newland but wasn’t having any luck seeing Speidel in action. So she planned a trip to watch East play.

“Oh my gosh,” Hayes said on Friday as Speidel signed her letter of intent to play NAIA volleyball at IU-Kokomo. “This girl was athletic and explosive. I knew right away I wanted this girl. She will be an impact player.”

Speidel’s mother, Lisa, listened to Hayes’ compliments at a special function to honor her daughter just after school Friday. Although Micayla didn’t start to play volleyball until seventh grade, her mom was sure she would be successful.

 

“Micayla always had the mindset, ‘Nothing is going to stop me,’” Lisa Speidel said.

Nothing has come closing to stop Lisa and Dave Speidel’s children. Their oldest daughter, 22-year-old Jamie, is a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University, where she was one of the team’s top soccer players. Micayla’s younger brother, Josh, is one of the area’s top high school players at Columbus North. With Josh’s development, it’s obvious that the Speidel children will be three-for-three when it comes to athletic scholarships.

“I remember when we all would be playing in the yard,” Dave Speidel said. “I remember the competitiveness and that they all would push each other.”

While all three kids played soccer, they eventually veered off in their own directions.

“It was just something new,” Micayla said of her introduction to volleyball. “What really got me was all the friends and the coaches on my teams.”

Wilder-Newland knew Speidel had talent her freshman year at East, but it was raw talent.

“People don’t remember, but she was 5-4 as a freshman,” Wilder-Newland said. “She had a good arm swing, but you didn’t know where it would go. It’s just amazing to see how far she has come. And she made the comment to me that she is just getting started.”

Now 5-foot-9, Speidel is a force as a hitter.

“I saw it last year ... that she could be good,” Josh Speidel said. “She took it seriously.”

Josh and Jamie were asked which of the three siblings is the most athletic. “Definitely Micayla,” they said in unison.

Micayla Speidel isn’t worried about matching up athletically at the next level, but she said there are improvements she must make.

“Just keeping my attitude up,” she said. “If I make a critical error, I get down on myself. That bogs me down.”

She won’t be bogged down by the thought of starting a new chapter in her life at IU-Kokomo. “It is a perfect fit for me,” she said.

She will study elementary education and special education in college.

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