Macy Daufeldt

West Liberty's Macy Daufeldt (9) spikes the ball during the third set against Tipton last season. Daufeldt, entering her sophomore season, already has made a verbal commitment to Drake University.

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa — Macy Daufeldt had no intention of making a college decision early in the recruitment process. That all changed with her first visit to the campus of Drake University last week.

“Seeing everything,” Daufeldt said, “(I realized) this is what I want to do.”

The West Liberty standout committed to Drake University volleyball Monday night, citing the campus, coaching staff and proximity to home as reasons for her verbal commitment to the Division I program.

“I wanted to stay close to home,” Daufeldt said. “Drake, as a program, (it’s) on the rise. They went from being in the bottom third of the top 300 to in the top third. Going to a small school, it feels like home.”

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter made her mark immediately upon entering the West Liberty volleyball program last fall as a freshman. She led the Comets with 332 kills and was second on the team with a .424 kill efficiency. Her 3.46 kills per set were the 22nd most in Class 3A last season and the best number of any freshman. She did all of that despite moving to from her natural position of outside hitter to middle hitter for West Liberty.

She proved herself as a leader, too, as she was a team captain in her first year in the program. West Liberty coach Ruben Galvan believes she can bring that same positive energy to Drake when the time comes.

“She’s very disciplined and coachable,” coach Galvan said. “She’s a team-oriented player, she never feels she can carry the team. … I’m really happy for her because I think she’s been working extremely hard to reach that goal of playing at that level.”

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Daufeldt always intended on playing close to home and turned down invitations to volleyball camps from out-of-state schools. Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake were the only four schools truly on her radar.

As recently as one week ago, Daufeldt had never been to Drake’s campus and her recruitment seemed far from over. However, she qualified for the Drake Relays in the long jump and decided to set up a campus visit while in town for the track event last Thursday.

The rest is history, as Daufeldt then put an end to her recruitment before other schools had a chance to get involved.

“I just fell in love with it,” Daufeldt said. “When Drake said they were interested I went right away to the opportunity.”

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter has proven herself on the big stage, as Daufeldt has played for the Iowa Rockets club volleyball team since the fifth grade. Prepdig.com, a volleyball recruiting website, ranks the West Liberty standout as the No. 3 prospect in the state of Iowa in the Class of 2022.

“It’s impacted me tremendously,” Daufeldt said of playing for the Rockets. “The competition is so much higher than it is in high school. The environment is so different.”

Daufeldt says she’s improved her ball control and court awareness since last appearing in a high school game. Known for her elite athletic ability, Daufeldt’s jumping reach is now 9-foot-11, up two inches from where it was during the high school season. Both she and Galvan feel there’s still plenty of room for improvement, too.

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