HARLINGEN — Karla Medina was on the varsity squad for Lyford her junior year, but she was soft-spoken and just played the game.
Her senior year, however, was a different story.
Medina was one of five returners this fall, and Medina returned to her role at libero and helped guide Lyford to a 20-11 overall record and a 14-4 district record. Medina emerged as a leader on the court and turned in her strongest season, recording 179 digs, 29 aces, 118 attacks and 23 kills.
Medina has been named the Valley Morning Star’s 2019 All-STAR Volleyball Libero of the Year.
“It is a great privilege to win this award,” Medina said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I came in my freshman year, I didn’t play libero, but I came in and learned the position. Coach (Lisa) Lancaster taught me the position and she asked me to play the position my junior year, and I was excited and it was a privilege.”
Lancaster saw Medina grow from one year to the next and described her as an improved player form her junior year to her senior year.
“Last year she was more reserved, but this year she was more confident and was able to give the girls feedback because she had that returning role,” Lancaster said. “Last year she was second-team in our district and was a consistent starter for us, and now was able to win libero of the year and getting first-team in the district this year. So, something changed from last year till now, and she has been more successful.”
Medina’s position change from the back row to libero was a challenging one, but one she knew she could do.
“I had already played back row before, so I had experience with that,” Medina said. “Now that I was a libero I knew I was going to be in for most of the game and I would have to react a lot quicker, but I was OK with that.”
Medina, who also plays softball, took in her time as a Lady Bulldogs player but also felt the heartbreak with her senior year coming to a close.
“This being my senior year, it was heartbreaking,” Medina said. “The team that I had, we all got along and we loved each other. We had a bond, so when we got on the court we knew that we had each other’s backs. As a libero I played with all of the girls, and I loved every single one of them.”