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Lindburg named first-team All-American

Volleyball player also named Oregon AAU high school athlete of the year

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Makayla Lindburg was recently named to the MaXPrepSports medium schools All-american first team in volleyball. The Crook County High School senior was also one of six players nominated for player of the year.

Although volleyball season has been over for weeks, Crook County High School senior Makayla Lindburg continues to earn recognition and awards.
   Lindburg has recently been named the Oregon AAU high school athlete of the year for 2012. In addition, Lindburg found out this week that she has been named to the volleyball first-team All-American list for medium schools by MaXPreps.
   “I thought that was pretty neat,” said Crook County High School head volleyball coach Rosie Honl. “It’s just another feather in her cap and I’m excited that she’s been recognized nationally. She has meant so much to us.”
   The 6-0 middle blocker, who has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Portland, has become the most decorated athlete in Crook County High School history.
   Lindburg has been named Class 4A volleyball player of the year each of the last three seasons. She has been named to the state all-tournament team each of her four seasons of high school volleyball and has been named 4A championship player of the game three times.
   “I feel like this is a good way to end my senior year and a good way to end my high school career,” Lindburg said. “I’m a little surprised, but getting things like this means a lot.”
   However, Lindburg is quick to credit her teammates and coaches for any individual recognition that she has received.
   “It all starts with Rosie and Jerry Honl,” she said. “They will only take kids that are selfless and want to play as a team. High school volleyball is about developing how you are as a player and how you work with other players. And everyone on our team has contributed to us being successful.”
   Although she did not win the awards, Lindburg was also a finalist for the American Volleyball Coaches Association player of the year, the MaXPreps player of the year, and the Oregon Gatorade volleyball player of the year.
   Crook County finished this season with a 36-4-1 record and won their seventh consecutive volleyball state championship.
   Individually, Lindburg finished with 477 kills, 48 aces, 276 digs, 93 blocks and only 12 errors in 358 serve receptions.
   It is the lack of errors that makes Lindburg such a special volleyball player. Her 477 kills came in just 894 attempts. She hit at a .444 percentage and had just 80 hitting errors the entire season.
   “I wouldn’t have gotten any of the recognition if Rosie and Jerry hadn’t put all our stats on line and worked to make sure our team was recognized,” Lindburg said. “Coming from a small community I think that sometimes Crook County gets overlooked and Rosie and Jerry work to make sure that doesn’t happen to us.”
   To illustrate how Crook County and Central Oregon can get overlooked, Lindburg told about her experiences playing AAU?volleyball for the Rimrock OVA Nationals team.
   “Half the time when we travel, people don’t know where we’re from,” she said. “They don’t know anything about us. Like two years ago, when we went to Georgia, some lady asked us if we had electricity yet.”
   Lindburg has played club volleyball for Rimrock each of the last seven seasons. This will be her fourth year playing on the Rimrock Nationals squad, which is coached by Joel Kent.
   Although playing for the Honl’s gave Lindburg her volleyball foundation, it was the AAU program that allowed her to advance as a player.
   “You get to see teams and players from all over the world,” she said. “You see different styles and get to play with and against bigger kids. It changes the game a little bit by having a bigger block and all kinds of offensive options. Volleyball in general is based on serve receive, but high school in particular is all about service receive and just getting the ball back over the net. That isn’t true in AAU volleyball. With the bigger players, they make you pay unless you do something with the ball.”
   Last year the Rimrock team finished 37th at the AAU Girl’s 18U Open Nationals Championship with a 7-4 tournament record.
   Lindburg is playing on the team again this year and believes that this year’s team might be even better.
   “We have different strengths than last year,” she said. “But we have a really tall team and have a lot of offensive weapons.”
   Rimrock Alumni Tournament info
   For those wanting to see Lindburg and the rest of the Rimrock volleyball club in action once more, they will take part in the Rimrock Alumni Tournament, which will be held in Prineville on Saturday, Dec. 30.
   Teams in the tournament will include four Rimrock Alumni teams, a team from COCC, as well as all the current Rimrock high school teams. Numerous former Crook County players are expected to play in the tournament including many current and former college players. Action is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., with the tournament running until approximately 4:30 p.m.