LAURINBURG — Scotland High School senior Kandon Luquer is perfectly content continuing her education and volleyball career right here in Laurinburg.
Kandon signed her letter of intent to play collegiate volleyball for St. Andrews earlier this week joined by her friends, family and coaches.
The Lady Scots MVP said it was important for her to stay close to home and to her family and after visiting the campus she said St. Andrews just felt like the right fit.
“It’s close to home and I would rather stay closer to my family — I’m just a hometown kind of girl,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting St. Andrews to look like that because it’s right down the street but it ended up being a great place and I loved it.”
The St. Andrews women’s volleyball program, under six-year head coach Holly Mandeville, finished the 2017 season with a 20-10 overall record and a 13-5 conference record. St. Andrews finished second in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) South Division behind conference champion Reinhardt University (17-1).
Kandon plans to major in elementary education to become an elementary school teacher, possibly in the Scotland County School system but she hasn’t made a final decision on that.
The 5-foot 6-inch senior had an outstanding senior campaign for the Lady Scots with 77 aces, 201 kills, 163 digs, eight blocks and a hitting percentage of .270.
All of those statistics along with her positive attitude earned her the Coach’s Award and MVP from Lady Scots head coach Mallory Wheeler. As a former college volleyball player, Wheeler was thrilled to earn that Kandon would be taking her talents to the next level.
“When Kandon told me she got her scholarship I was floored. She is great in the classroom and on the court, she is a player I’ll never forget. I look forward to seeing how she does in the future,” said Wheeler. “Kandon can do it all. I know those skills will only improve with the amount of practice that’s required at the college level.”
Wheeler said she would do her best to make it over to St. Andrews to watch Kandon, and her teammate Ashley McGugan who also signed with the Lady Knights this week.
“It’s awesome as a first year head coach to have two girls sign to play at the next level,” Wheeler said. “I played at the next level, so I know what it’s all about. I’m super proud of them and excited for them.”
Despite signing the paperwork, Kandon said never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would ever become a college athlete.
“I never thought I would become a college volleyball — but here I am. It’s exciting,” she said.
Kandon said she was grateful for the support of her personal cheering section — her parents, younger sister and grandparents — who attended every game and pushed her to achieve.
“I’m thankful for everyone that had supported me through this,” Kandon said.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]