Eureka High School volleyball

Tom Batters
Shelby Kupferschmid

Shelby Kupferschmid barely had enough time to put her gold medal in a safe place before she had to get into the gym for summer volleyball workouts.

Kupferschmid, who won a state title in the 4X200 meter relay (with Elly Vance, Jacey Hartman and Natalie Puent) at the state track and field championships last month, is one of the key returning players for the Hornets volleyball team.

“That was really exciting (the state title). We weren’t expecting to win, but coach (Don) Samford told us, ‘there’s nothing stopping you from getting first place.’ So, that’s what we set out to do,” she said. “It’s something I’ll always remember. But, now it’s time to get ready for volleyball season.”

Last year as a sophomore, Kupferschmid recorded 175 service points, which puts her second all-time in school history behind Kim Bigelow. She also had 160 kills and 209 digs, which are also among the most in school history.

Her coach, Tracy Heffren, said she expects even better things from Kupferschmid this season.

“She has the ability to be a go-to player,” Heffren said. “Last year, she was one of our better passers, hitters and servers. She is willing to do whatever you ask her to do. She’s definitely a coach’s player.”

Kupferschmid has played on the varsity team since she was a freshman.

She credits Kelsey Holman and Caty Eeten (seniors who graduated in the spring) for helping her during the last two seasons.

“Kelsey hit on the same side I did, and Caty was a great setter,” she said. “I really looked up to both of them. If I ever got down, they helped motivate me.”

This year’s team is young and inexperienced, so Kupferschmid said she hopes to take on a leadership role.

“We have big shoes to fill, but I hope I can do anything I can to help the team, just like those seniors did for me,” she said.