High School Sports

O’Fallon volleyball senior signs with NCAA national champions

O’Fallon senior volleyball player Luke Meidel signed a national letter of intent on Monday to attend Ohio State University on a volleyball scholarship.
O’Fallon senior volleyball player Luke Meidel signed a national letter of intent on Monday to attend Ohio State University on a volleyball scholarship. znizami@bnd.com

O’Fallon senior Luke Meidel has long dreamed of playing major college volleyball—specifically at The Ohio State University.

After signing a national letter of intent with the defending-national-champion Buckeyes, Meidel will get his chance to wear the scarlet and grey of Ohio State for the next four years.

“I’m super excited. All the work and the time I’ve put in, it’s crazy to me to think that its happening,” Meidel said. “Ohio State was my top choice, and actually my only choice at the time when they were offering.

“I had emailed their coaches a couple of times, and I went to their camp this summer. When I was there I asked the coaches what I could do or what I needed to work on to play there and told them that I really wanted to play at Ohio State. About a month later, I got a call from them telling me they wanted me. It was something I’ll never forget.”

The Ohio State University men’s volleyball program is one of the best in the nation. The Buckeyes finished the 2016 season with a 31-3 record and defeated Brigham Young University in the national title match. Ohio State also won the national title in 2011.

Meidel said the Ohio State coaches saw him play with his club team, High Performance, in St. Louis.

There were times when I thought I would never make it. But two years later, here I am. I’m going to a Big Ten Conference school — the best program in the nation — to play volleyball. Is it a dream come true? Yes.

Luke Meidel, O’Fallon volleyball player

“I think it really helped that they saw me play for my club team,” Meidel said. “My freshman year at O’Fallon I played both soccer and volleyball and actually was more into soccer.

“Then my sophomore year I gave up soccer to concentrate on volleyball. There were times when I thought I would never make it. But two years later, here I am. I’m going to a Big Ten Conference school—the best program in the nation—to play volleyball. Is it a dream come true? Yes.”

An excellent all-around threat for the Panthers, Meidel had 294 digs and 308 kills a year ago. His service percentage of over 90 percent was also one of the highest on the team.

Meidel has played both middle and outside hitter at O’Fallon. At Ohio State, he says he’ll play at libero, a roaming back-court position mostly for defense.

“I played libero for my club team this year, but I’ll go back to being an outside hitter for my high school team in the spring during our season. I like playing libero,” Meidel said. “The libero doesn’t get a lot of the attention on the court during a match, but it does a lot of the things that are vital to the team and how much success it achieves.

“Ohio State is a great university both academically and athletically. The coaching staff has been together for a long time, and they have a system that works. In watching them practice, I know how hard they work and how hard I will have to work.”

Meidel is son of Kurt and Deb Meidel of O’Fallon. Kurt Meidel is a Michigan State University graduate.

“My dad has told me he’ll be an Ohio State fan, with the exception of when they play Michigan State in football,” Meidel said, laughing. “Ohio State is about six to six-and-a-half hours from home, which is perfect. It’s close enough but not too close to home.”

Dean Criddle: 618-239-2661, @CriddleDean

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