Anna Heinz is a rising senior at Lakewood High School, and was an integral part of their deep postseason run in last year’s 1A Volleyball State Playoffs.
Heinz led the Carolina 1A Conference in digs and aces, and was second in the state in digs. Her play earned her All-Conference, All-County and All-Region honors during her junior year. On top of all of that, she is ranked number one in her class academically.
When not playing in LHS attire, she plays travel volleyball for the Lakewood Area Volleyball Association (LAVA) team, and is a junior referee for USA Volleyball. She has been recognized as one of the top ten junior officials in the state of North Carolina. She also attends Zoar PFWB Church, and enjoys singing in the choir there.
Although she also plays softball for the Lady Leopards, Heinz’s true love is volleyball.
“Just the drive to get the ball up and the excitement you get when you get the dig when your teams needs it, or the ace that you have been working your heart out for, and the energy of the game itself, that makes me love volleyball,” said Heinz.
“I love that volleyball is a team sports, and how you can’t just rely on one team member,” she continued. “It takes all six members on the court, and the other team members that aren’t on the court but are cheering you on, to make it work. Volleyball creates bonds throughout the team that last a lifetime.”
Last year’s Lady Leopards made it to the fifth round of the state playoffs, just one game away from reaching the state championship. They would eventually fall to the soon-to-be state champions, Princeton, in the game, but not before a hard fight in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Lakewood High School Gymnasium.
“The support for the fifth round game was amazing,” she said. “In my three years of playing at Lakewood, and the years of watching my sister play, I do not think I have ever seen a crowd quite like that. It is an incredible feeling knowing that all those people came out to support Lakewood. The girls and I were so nervous because we had never made it that far as individuals or as a team. We all wanted that game so badly. It has been my dream since I started high school to win a state championship, and unfortunately we came up a bit short last year. I think Coach Davidson was the calmest of us all because she had been in the spot before. I wanted to win that game for her, because she believed in us from the beginning. When we lost, it hit us all hard. I just wish the seniors wouldn’t have had that as their last game, but we all have that memory and we all have grown from it.”
Entering her senior year, Heinz is anxious to get back on the court. “Being able to play my last year of volleyball at Lakewood with the coach who has made a huge impact not only on my game but my entire high school years, and being on the court with my friends that are like my family is what I am looking forward to the most,” she said.
As for the future, it is yet to be determined for Heinz.
“This summer, I was invited to attend several college prospect camps. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet coaches and players from four different colleges,” said Heinz. “Being on a campus and spending time with the coaches and players has given me a better idea where I would fit best. Obviously, volleyball plays a part in my college choice, but more importantly, I am looking at the academic programs. My plan is to major in Biology and Health Human Sciences.”
Before then, Heinz will be back in action in her Lakewood uniform for one final go at things. She is looking to use her previous experiences to turn in her best year yet.