OLA’s Emma Funk Wins Gatorade Player of the Year

The common denominator between the OLA Crescents and their last three MHSAA Class I State titles is Emma Funk. She picked up volleyball for the first time as a seventh grader and ever since then, all she’s known is winning. Now she’s been awarded the highest honor in the state of Mississippi as the Gatorade Player of the Year.
Eleven state championships at Our Lady Academy and the last three of them have come on Emma Funk’s watch. Now in the same conversations as those titles is her place in high school volleyball history as Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year. “This has definitely been one of the best awards I’ve received. It’s definitely up there right next to winning state championships, just ‘cause those are always really fun to win, but this has just been amazing. “
What’s amazing is Funk did all this as a junior. In 2016, the MaxPreps First Team Small School All-American led her Crescents to an overall record of 33-7, racking up more than 700 kills in the process. Not only a credit to her teammates at OLA, but also her Adidas WD Nation 17 club team, called Wattle Daub. OLA Head Volleyball Coach Mike Meyers said, “Emma is very talented. She jumps better than anyone I’ve ever had. She’s got a terrific vertical jump, but when she gets up real high, she is also smart. She can see the court, she sees the openings.”
“Just in Mississippi going from JV to varsity, it’s about three times as quick, but when you go to varsity high school in Mississippi to Louisiana, it’s like jumping up from that JV stage again ‘cause it’s so quick and it’s so fast,” said Funk.
Believe it or not, Funk is actually the second OLA player to win Gatorade Player of the Year. The other is Brittany Corder after the 2013 season. “We were talking about it the morning of and I was telling her that she had to make room ‘cause my banner was going to be coming up next to hers. I really wasn’t expecting it. It was a really great honor to receive. When I first heard about it me and my mom both were just over the moon. I had just woken up to get ready for school so it was a great way to wake up,” said Funk.
Over the moon seems kind of fitting for the Crescents middle blocker and outside hitter who is still making a wish list for her senior year, maybe that’ll wake everyone else up, too. “I would love to go undefeated all the way around. And also of course, just win another state championship just for my senior year. That’d be amazing.”
As far as college goes, Funk says she’s keeping her options open although she’s already starting to look at schools such as Emory, Wofford, Rhodes, UT Tyler, and South Alabama. None of which she’ll have trouble getting into as a 4.0 student.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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