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With Bray taking over for Golden at setter, Lady Eagles remain atop COC


Jacy Bray went from starting and starring in everything at Spokane through junior high to being a reserve setter in volleyball her first two years at Nixa.

She’s quick to say she thinks playing jayvee and backing up former Lady Eagles great Sydney Golden was better for her than if she would have had stayed at Spokane and saw varsity playing time.

“It was a crazy jump and there was a lot to learn,” Bray said of going from Class 2 Spokane to Class 5 Nixa. “It was a huge change, the size of the schools, the style of play and the competitiveness. Playing behind Sydney was a great experience and made me the player I am now.”

With Golden now at Northern Iowa after setting every assists record at Nixa and even quite a few state assists marks, Bray assumed Nixa’s starting setting job at the start of this, her junior season.

“She got to learn under one of the best setters in Missouri that there ever was,” Zimmerman said. “That was great for her. She’s her own player and finding her own way.”

Bray has helped a new-look Nixa bunch to a 21-5 overall record and a 7-0 conference mark that has the Lady Eagles alone atop the COC.  She has contributed 731 assists, or an average of 9.4 assists per set, to go along with 200 digs, 74 kills and 28 aces.

Golden averaged 10.7 assists a set as a senior last season.

Zimmerman feels Bray’s passion makes her a natural leader.

“I love her competitive spirit and she has started to mature as a leader,” Zimmerman siad. “Early in the season, if there were any mistakes made by her or anyone, she would ge quiet on the floor. Now, she talking the players through that and has them thinking about the next ball. It’s made a difference in our team overall.”

Zimmerman adds Bray is plenty athletic enough to give the Lady Eagles another hitter at the net.

“She gives us a lot of options being a left-handed setter. She has the ability to jump and attack,” Zimmerman said. “I’m proud of the way she is developing her physical game and mental side as well.”

Nixa  is at the Ozark Grand Slam this weekend.