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Lewis finding success in first season at Texas State

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The Texas State volleyball team developed an interest in Morgan Lewis, junior middle blocker, because they saw a player who knows what it takes to be successful.

Lewis transferred from Tyler Junior College and is in her first season on the team.

She is off to a fast start this season, placing third in kills (106) and first on the team in blocks (66).

Lewis recorded 13 kills in the team’s first Sun Belt Conference match against Georgia State. Coach Karen Chisum said Lewis was unstoppable in the match.

It’s no surprise Lewis is already playing well because that’s all she knows how to do.

Lewis was named Player of the Year last season while in Tyler and Newcomer of the Year in 2013.

Her history of athletic excellence even dates back to her days at Holliday High School, near Wichita Falls.

“She was three-time all-state in volleyball, two-time all-state in cross country and first-team all-district in basketball,” said Larry Lewis, her father. “She has always been very athletic since she was little and was always successful.”

Morgan Lewis ran track in high school, participating in the state championship race and finishing fourth.

“I finished in fourth, but this girl from Spearman High School stepped on the back of my leg which caused me to fall down in the middle of the race,” Morgan Lewis said. “I was able to get up and finish the race, but she rolled all the way into the infield. I always wonder what would have happened if that didn’t happen.”

She didn’t win state, but not many athletes have the type of success she encountered in high school.

Morgan Lewis was proud of her accomplishments, but did not let herself become complacent.

She took it as motivation to become even better and her father said her work ethic exceeded that of her competition.

Liza Lewis, her mother, preached hard work, which helped her develop the habit of giving 100 percent to whatever she is doing.

Liza Lewis was a successful athlete in her youth. The second-generation athlete’s goal was to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

Morgan Lewis’ work ethic and diligence proves to be contagious for her teammates.

“Morgan led by example by showing the results hard work comes with,” Larry Lewis said. “A lot of coaches, from little league to select, always wanted to have girls on Morgan’s team play for them because they would also listen to the coaches and do exactly what they say.”

She was given plenty of opportunities to leave and go play at a bigger school near Wichita Falls, where she might have received more attention against better competition.

She declined and stayed at Holliday for high school.

Her dad says volleyball is her true love but she was forced to be without it for a while during her junior season.

The athlete underwent knee surgery on both of her knees in order to repair her patella tendon.

“It was really hard on Morgan and she became really impatient,” Larry Lewis said. “She also had problems with her ankles during her freshman and sophomore year. She practically lived in the physical therapist’s office.”

She watched her team play from the sidelines that season, but found a new interest during her time out.

“I became really close with my physical therapist, and she taught me so much about it,” Morgan Lewis said. “The more we talked and became closer, the more I wanted to get into physical therapy.”

The athlete said Texas State’s physical therapy program is a huge reason why she transferred here from Tyler Junior College.

Physical therapy is her dream after volleyball, but the competition will be stiff.

“I know it’s super competitive, but I live for competition,” Morgan Lewis said. “My love for competition has helped me become who I am.”