Norris signed with Daniel’s Wallace State-Hanceville volleyball team last week.
“Payton’s a really good defensive player. She’s quick. She’s aggressive,” Daniel said. “To play libero you can’t be afraid to hit the floor. You have to have a lot of stamina because you are moving as much as anybody on the court. Payton fits that mold.”
A libero plays exclusively on the back row and is a defensive specialist.
Norris has been the defensive leader for Curry the past two years, helping guide the Yellow Jackets to the Elite 8 State Tournament as a junior and the regional tournament as a senior.
Signing with Wallace State-Hanceville was an easy decision for Norris, who has played for Daniel’s club volleyball team for the past two years.
“Because they are awesome!” Norris said. “I know Randy because I’ve played for him. He’s a good coach. He makes you work hard.”
Wallace State-Hanceville has enjoyed a run of successful seasons under Daniel, winning four straight state titles and advancing to the National Tournament each of the last four years.
Being a junior college, Daniel needs players to come in and contribute. That’s what he expects from Norris.
“I see her fitting in immediately,” Daniel said. “We graduated a region MVP at that position. Payton will have a really good opportunity to come in because we know her so well. Her being around me for two years will help.”
Norris was one of six seniors on Curry’s volleyball team last year. Along with Norris, Chloe Bennett, Jessie Bagwell, Kendall Chance, Bretta Lane and Mary Beth Scott were seniors on the squad.
“The team was really close. We were all like best friends. We got along great. It was really fun,” said Norris, who enjoys playing libero. “I’m not tall enough to be a hitter. I’m always on the ground. I love it.”
Curry advanced to the regional tournament under head coach Annah Cagle and was eliminated by Hartselle. The Yellow Jackets finished 46-14, winning county and area titles along the way.
Norris was one of the reasons behind the Yellow Jackets’ success.
“Payton’s very intense. She gets after it,” Cagle said. “She was our defensive leader. Payton was always positive and kept everybody going. I think she will do well at Wallace.”
At Curry, Norris is the Secretary of the National Honors Society and Anchor Club. She is a member of Beta Club and the school’s math club and is fifth in her class.