— By GREG WEBB
SPRINGTOWN — Ashley Mainord was a vital component in another banner year for Springtown volleyball, helping to lead the Lady Porcupines back to the Class 3A, Region I Tournament, and just a hair’s breadth from a trip to the state show. Mainord spurred the SHS girls to consecutive undefeated district championships, and left a legacy behind for Springtown volleyball in the process, setting new records for single-season and career kills with 447 and 873, respectively, and recognition at the district, county and state levels..
Mainord’s performances, on the court and in the classroom has netted the student-athlete more than just kudos, as she recently inked a commitment to extend both pursuits at Missouri Western State University, whish is located in St. Joseph.
Although Ashley had taken visits to other colleges, in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas prior to her trek to MWSU, the timing seemed right, and very quick, in her decision to attend the Missouri school.
“I met the coach and some of the other players and while I was there,” Mainord said, “and just knew that was where I needed to be. I just felt very comfortable in that environment, which had kind of a small-town feel to it.”
Mainord’s venture into volleyball began in the fourth grade, and was a family affair, with Ashley and her twin sister Katelynn, under the tutelage of parents Amy and Mike Mainord.
“That was a good start for me, with my parents coaching us,” Ashley said. “That really helped make me the player I am, today.”
Years of select volleyball leagues followed, culminating with Mainord’s 3-year varsity high school career, which has been a boon to Springtown volleyball.
“We didn’t go to the playoffs my sophomore year,” she said, “but I am really proud of what we have done the past two years, making the playoffs and going as deep [into the brackets] as we did.”
Ashley and her teammates not only swept their district schedule, they virtually swept the District 6-3A superlatives list in 2013. Ashley shared the MVP as the top hitter, with her sister sharing the top blocker nod. Springtown head coach Leighann Strickland’s squad placed seven Lady Porcupine players on the all-district roster.
Ashley made herself an even more attractive recruit for MWSU, and the handful of other schools showing interest, with her academic prowess. The six-foot, multi-sport athlete has earned All-Academic honors in basketball and softball, as well as volleyball.
Yet undecided on a major, Mainord is considering a couple of directions, albeit diverse ones.
“Right now, I am thinking about either kinesiology, or perhaps accounting,” she said.
Having been in and around sports most of her life, sports therapy would be a familiar arena for Ashley. With the Pojo senior’s evident smarts, and already accustomed to generating big numbers on the court, juggling big numbers should be a breeze, should she choose a life in accounting.