06/06/13 — Golden Falcons' Mercer signs with Cape Fear CC

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Golden Falcons' Mercer signs with Cape Fear CC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 6, 2013 1:47 PM

A small-town girl who has played club volleyball in big cities this season, Madison Mercer decided a small-school atmosphere would work best as she started her collegiate career.

The Charles B. Aycock senior visited Methodist University.

She entertained offers from Division III members Averett (Va.) University, Greensboro College and William Peace University. JUCO members Lenoir Community College and Catawba Valley CC showed some interest.

But Mercer found one place that seemed a perfect fit -- Cape Fear Community College. After a trip there, a meeting with an enthusiastic and young coach, and dinner with future teammates, she knew she'd found her next home after high school.

"I absolutely loved it. I feel like I can make a big impact there," said Mercer, who officially signed a national letter-of-intent with CFCC on Wednesday afternoon.

A three-year varsity performer, Mercer helped guide the Golden Falcons to 11 wins and an appearance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A playoffs in 2012. She led the team in service aces, kills per match (11) and blocks per match (2) from her middle-hitter position.

She earned a spot on the all-Eastern Carolina Conference team.

"Cape Fear is getting a competitor and a leader ... that sums it up right there," CBA head coach Davis Harris said. "When we were down, she always kept everybody up. She doesn't back down to anybody. When the going gets tough, she gets going.

"She'll rise to a level above everybody else when she needs to and she's always done that."

Mercer, ironically, never intended to play volleyball.

Soccer was her first love while she grew up in Pikeville, but during her eighth-grade year at Norwayne Middle School, there was no co-ed team. Instead of sitting at home and turning into a couch potato, Mercer switched to volleyball.

She's blossomed into an all-around player.

Mercer played on the front row during her sophomore season, exited for the libero during her junior campaign and played every rotation this past fall. The experience of learning every position, along with three seasons of club volleyball, undoubtedly proved critical in her development.

In addition to middle hitter, she's played right side and outside for the Eastern Elite Volleyball Club this season. A strong performance in a showcase drew attention from numerous collegiate coaches.

"Club volleyball has helped tremendously," Mercer said. "I sat out club volleyball my junior year because I wanted to play soccer, but I sat out the season with a groin injury.

"I didn't play soccer this year, which was a real tough decision. I came back to play club as a senior ... eat, sleep and breathe volleyball."

Mercer undoubtedly relishes the competitive spirit of volleyball and the adrenaline rush from connecting on a kill or blocking a kill attempt. She admits she has work to do, especially on timing and jumping on block attempts.