Lady Bulldog becoming a Maverick
Quitman four-year varsity volleyball middle-blocker Ava Burroughs is taking her talents from 350-seat Delbert Ballard Memorial Gym to the University of Texas at Arlington’s 7,000-seat College Park Arena.
Lady Bulldog becoming a Maverick
Quitman four-year varsity volleyball middle-blocker Ava Burroughs is taking her talents from 350-seat Delbert Ballard Memorial Gym to the University of Texas at Arlington’s 7,000-seat College Park Arena. Burroughs signed a letter of intent to become a UT-Arlington Lady Maverick.
She will be competing with her NCAA Division I teammates in the Sun Belt Conference which has teams stretching from the east coast at Coastal Carolina in Charleston, S.C. and Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. to the east and UT-Arlington and Texas State in San Marcos. Other universities are Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Troy State (Alabama), Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock.
Burroughs and her teammates are coming off a 25-16 season, making it to the area round of the state playoffs where they were taken down by the state’s number one team, White Oak.
Burroughs has fought through injuries and COVID-19 in her high school career and never complained, earning post season honors all four years on the varsity. The 6’3” senior was named District Blocker of the Year in 2019 and this season. She was named first team all-district in 2018 and 2020.
Quitman Coach Ashlee Lingo is proud of Burroughs. “Ava is very coachable and is proof that hard work can and will pay off if you stay dedicated. We are really going to miss her, but we are also happy for one of our own athletes to get the opportunity to play at the next level,” Lingo said. “Ava works hard and she has fought through injuries to be consistent in her game. We want her to be successful at the next level and we are really proud of all of her accomplishments.”
Burroughs has been recruited by other colleges, but she feels UT-Arlington is the best place for her. “I did talk to a lot of schools, but UTA just clicked for me. After meeting the coaches and being on campus it just felt like home, like this is where I want and need to be,” Burroughs noted. “I’m so excited about going to UTA. I got to spend some time with my incoming teammates; they are awesome and I just can’t wait to be around them and start volleyball next season.” Burroughs reports for work-outs in July and the season begins in August.
In her career at QHS, Burroughs has been subjected to taunts from opposing players and their fans. “Even though you have to deal with injuries it is something you can overcome. During games people are always trying to get to you mentally and emotionally. I love the sport of volleyball and I respect the game,” Burroughs stated. “It would be awesome if I get to play my freshman year. My goal for freshman year is to be on the travel team. I know there are seniors who are in the middle and who are really good. I just want to be a part of the program. I have some really great coaches at UTA and I am excited about getting to campus and going to work.”
Burroughs not only played at QHS all four years, she has been a member of club volleyball with the East Texas Alliance I (ETA-1) since she was 12-years old. Her 17 and under American Athletic Union (AAU) team won the national championship in 2019.
Burroughs’ club volleyball coach Leo Scott feels Burroughs will be successful at the college level. “It has taken a lot of hard work for Ava to get where she is now. There have been many long hours on the road a lot of sacrifice on Ava and her parent’s for her to get to this level,” Scott explained. “I believe Ava will do very well at the next level. Ava is better than she thinks she is. Once she realizes she can play at the D-1 level, I think she will explode because of her talent and dedication. Ava’s parents allowed me to coach her and she has been a very coachable athlete. I see nothing but success for her in college.”
Quitman Athletic Director Shane Webber is proud of Burroughs. “This signing is evidence that Ava has set goals and worked hard and sacrificed to achieve those goals. This is big for her, but it is a big deal for all of us in Quitman,” Webber noted. “This signing shows to the rest of our kids and our community that if you put your heart and soul into something the work does pay off. Just because you are from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t go and be successful at a big college.”
Burroughs is the daughter of Will and Kevan Burroughs.