By Conor Doherty
The saying may be “like mother, like daughter,” but for Severna Park alum Morgan Kline, it’s more “like sister, like sister.” Morgan has been recognized by Varsity Sports Network (VSN) as Top Setter of the Decade due to her stellar volleyball career playing for the Falcons. Morgan’s younger sister, Campbell Klinehad been named the top softball Infielder of the Decade by VSN.
Morgan’s achievements while setting the ball at Severna Park are impressive. She had over 600 assists in both her junior and senior years and helped lead the Falcons to the Class 4A state title in 2014. In the title game only, she had 42 assists against Northwest. In total, Severna Park made the state semifinals three times and went 54-4 with Morgan as their starting setter.
“I felt proud that all of my hard work during my volleyball career was recognized,” Morgan said. “I was just so proud to be a part of some amazing teams during my time at Severna Park.”
Morgan thinks that she was chosen not because of her stats but because of the work ethic she put into making her teammates better. “I never was the loudest or flashiest player,” Morgan stated. “But every day, I was ready to lay it all out there for my team and let my play speak for itself.”
That leadership was apparent to players and coaches alike.
“Morgan was quite adept at understanding the game situation and putting her teammates in positions to be the most successful,” said Falcons volleyball head coach Tim Dunbar† “She was quick to transition from defense to offense, so she was always a step ahead and ready to run the offense. The work ethic she and her teammates displayed in practice spilled over to game day, and that preparation paid off when it mattered.”
As Morgan moved from high school to college, she was glad to have played against such hard competition to make her ready. “When I started playing in college, I felt like playing at Severna Park prepared me for that type of high level of play every day,” she said. “It also taught me how to bounce back and give 100 percent the next day despite the outcome from the night before. The college game is faster and there are tournaments every weekend, so you really have to have strong time management being a student-athlete and you get to play with/against people you haven’t played with before.”
At Eastern University, Morgan continued its strong level of play. During her freshman year, Morgan had 1,425 assists, second most in program history and the most in a season since the NCAA reduced sets to 25 points. That year, her average of 10.89 assists per set was ranked fifth nationally. Morgan finished with 3,934 assists, with a career average of nine assists per set.
For the next wave of young athletes, Morgan shared some advice.
“Be coachable and have confidence in yourself,” Morgan said. “You may not get all of the skills right away or may get discouraged, but if you are patient with yourself and are not afraid to ask questions, this will help you gain confidence in yourself as you develop more as a player, mentally and physically .”