Bly signs with Royals to play volleyball at EMU

High School news is sponsored by:

Lindsay Bly signs with EMU to play volleyball on Thursday, May 4, 2023

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, May 4 — On Thursday, Luray High School senior Lindsay Bly gathered with friends and family at the LHS Commons to share some big news related to an athletic career that has had many memorable moments over the past four years.

“One of the first things I noticed about Lindsay was her maturity…talking to her, she seems to have years of experience,” LHS Athletic Director Don Ehlers said at the opening of Thursday’s announcement. “Five years of knowing her goes by quickly…it’s been a great ride for her…in two sports…and quite a historic run for Luray High School, and she was a big part of that.”

Bly played four years on both the varsity volleyball and girls basketball teams. During that time, she participated in a combined four state title games. During her senior year, Bly has earned the coveted Golden “L” at the fall and winter LHS sports banquets for volleyball and basketball, respectively.

On Thursday, Bly singed her letter of intent to play volleyball for the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University this fall under four-year head coach Casey Steinbrecher.

The Royals have struggled in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, but they are a rising Division III program under Steinbrecher, who posted EMU’s best conference finish in 20 years last season. Since taking over the program in 2020, the former James Madison University assistant has produced EMU’s first ODAC Rookie of the Year, the inaugural first team All-ODAC selection for the Royals, and recorded the University’s first wins over three different conference opponents in 20 years.

Coach Steinbrecher first heard about Bly while she was playing with the Renegades, a travel volleyball team in the Shenandoah Valley Juniors (club).

“I have really had the chance to get to know Lindsay pretty well over this past year. I’ve seen her compete in both volleyball and basketball and actually had the chance to work with her directly at a couple camps,” Coach Steinbrecher said. “Her drive, competitive nature and experience winning at high levels are certainly great reasons why I think she’ll be able to help us continue to build our program.”

Bly earned second team All-District in the competitive Bull Run in both her sophomore and senior seasons, while also claiming first team All-Region honors this past fall. She helped lead the Bulldogs to a state runner-up finish in VHSL’s Class 2 during the 2021 season.

LHS head volleyball coach Susan Henry-Wilson said during Thursday’s ceremony that she knew Lindsay was a special player early on — and pulled her up to the varsity level as a freshman.

“Lindsay has been a part of the volleyball program for five years going back to her year on jayvee…I saw her on jayvee catching her play in eighth grade,” an emotional Coach Henry-Wilson said. “It’s so exhilarating to see Lindsay block…I just want people to see the passion our players have…and willingness to put the team first…thank you and I am so proud, and I will be there to watch you play.”

During her junior year, Steve Henderson approached Bly about playing travel volleyball while refereeing a volleyball game at LHS.

“We needed a ‘middle’,” Coach Henderson said of the Renegades. “People have difficulties finding middles.”

Henderson noticed Bly’s “good foot work,” which he credited to playing basketball. He also noticed that in addition to being a good “middle,” Bly was also a good blocker, a solid hitter, a leader and a team player.

“Everywhere we went, college coaches were taking notice,” he said.

All up and down the ODAC, from Mary Baldwin, to Bridgewater, to Roanoke, to Lynchburg…coaches were showing at least some level of interest. Even Division-I Radford told Bly that she had potential as a walk-on. Then the travel team played a game at Eastern Mennonite in Harrisonburg, and Coach Steinbrecher had front row seats.

“On the court she’s quick in transition and laterally to block, and she’s very good at tracking sets and connecting with her setters,” the EMU coach told PVN. “I think she’ll definitely be competing for playing time early in our season.”

Henderson, like others during Thursday’s ceremony, commented on Bly’s character, as much as her athletic abilities.

“She’s such a great presence to have around…It hurt us when Luray went to the state championship because we had to do without her for a while…but she’s eager to learn, wanting to improve…very receptive and always wanted to know more,” Henderson said. “I saw her at a JMU camp last summer, and many of those at the camp were younger…and to see her taking those younger players and bringing them along…her parents did a good job raising her to be the person she is.”

Bly has already accumulated enough college credits through dual enrollment classes at Laurel Ridge Community College to cover most, if not all, of her first year of collegiate classes. Her chosen course of study at EMU is nursing. Remembering days of helping care for her great grandmother and being inspired by her father Robert who serves as a full-time EMT for Page County, Bly says she simply wants to help others.

“Getting to help people is the best part of it,” she said of her future nursing career. “I’ve seen my dad help so many people, and it was great to just be around that.”

Now that the final days of her high school years are right in front of her, the two-sport athlete isn’t quite sure what the future may hold…but she’s excited to play sports at the next level.

“I don’t know what to do any more,” the LHS senior said a few weeks from graduation. “Basketball and volleyball have been such a big part of my life for so long…but that’s why I’m so glad to still be playing volleyball…I love the competitiveness of it and the emotions of it.”

Bly has experienced her share of high-emotion moments in sports…and she has shared those moments with one particular player for four years. Just over a month ago, longtime classmate and teammate — on both the basketball and volleyball teams — Jaidyn McClung announced that she will be playing Division III volleyball for the Eagles of Bridgewater. What if these two longtime teammates, who have experienced so much together, meet one another at the net in the ODAC championship one day?

“We’ve played against each other in travel ball, but we really haven’t talked about it,” Bly said. “You want to beat them, but they are your friends too.”

“I’ve just enjoyed paying with all of my teammates through everything,” she continued. “I’ve enjoyed my coaches and having such great relationships with everyone.”

For more information on EMU Volleyball,




McClung signs with Bridgewater

Bulldogs announce team awards for winter sports

Bulldogs announce fall sports awards

McClung named Region B ‘Player of the Year’ following Luray’s loss in title game

McClung named Bull Run’s Player of the Year, Bulldogs place three on All-District squad

Luray ends 12-4 season as state runner-up

Luray wins Region 2B championship

Top Post Ad

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.