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Royer to play volleyball at Rose-Hulman


Emma Royer became the latest Sullivan High School student athlete to have a chance to extend her athletic career.
On Monday at SHS, Royer signed a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
“I am very happy about having this opportunity,” said the 5-3 Royer, the daughter of Mike and Mary Jo Royer.
Royer said the wheels started falling into place last year.
“It looks like my grades where going to be good enough, but I didn’t know where the money was going to come from.
“But when I became a candidate for the Lilly Scholarship through the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, it made this possible.”
Royer, a four-year starter for the Lady Arrows, played her first three seasons as their setter. As a senior, she played libero.
“It was good to have that experience of playing libero,” said Royer. “It will help as I make the adjustment to playing on the next level.
“I am not sure what my role will be, but I will continue to work hard and do whatever the coaches want me to do. I just want to help the team win.”
Royer played a pivotal role as the Lady Arrows won the 2017 Class 3A Sectional at home.
“Winning the sectional was the highlight of my volleyball career at Sullivan.” said Royer. “We had lost to Vincennes during the season but came back and got them in the sectional.
“I played with some great teammates and will miss playing with them. But I am looking forward to making new friends and playing with new teammates.”
Royer ended up the career leader in assists at SHS (2,397) and also set the school record at Sullivan with 52 assists in a match against Clay City as a freshman in 2015.
“I am very proud to have those records,” she said. “But they were not possible without my teammates and coaches.”
Royer said it was at age 10 when she started playing the sport and a few years later when she thought she might be able to play beyond high school.
“I was on a 16U team and it occurred to be that it could happen, if I continued to work at getting better,” she said.
Royer said that she has always had to work hard to keep up her grades and expects nothing to change moving forward.
“Academics is something that did not come easy for me,” said Royer, who said she plans to major in  chemical engineering or biochemistry and eventually end up in medical school “But I believe that will help me as I will have even more challenges in the classroom at Rose.”
She added that having a chance to play volleyball and get a great education is a dream come true.
Roper’s unselfishness might be the greatest quality that she will bring to Rose-Hulman.
She was a big part of what turned into the Luke Jones Scholarship fund, helping her cancer-stricken friend before his death in 2017.
Royer tried to get pledges for every assist she passed out that season.
She also involved in Sullivan volleyball’s King of the Court. Every year the volleyball team raised money that was donated to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis that was earmarked for fighting cancer.
Thousands were raised by Royer and her teammates and classmates.
Mary Jo said a writing by Mark Anthony describes her daughter perfectly.
“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”

Photo by B.J. HARGIS: Sullivan High school senior Emma Royer, front, center, is all smiles after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She is surrounded in the front by her parents Mary Jo and Mike Royer. Back, from left, are grandparents, Jim and Bev Royer; brother, Evan Royer; Sullivan physics/calculus teacher Jeremy O’Bryan; Sullivan chemistry teacher Mike Wallace; former Sullivan volleyball coach Sue Chagnon; SHS principal Tara Jenkins; and Sullivan athletic director Otto Clements.

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