mallory hendrix

Senior Mallory Hendrix has started on varsity her first three years for Owasso. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Mallory Hendrix has been a bit of a wunderkind throughout her Owasso volleyball career.

The 5-foot-11 setter participated in Team USA Select competitions during her junior high days and has regularly played against more experienced players on the club scene. Hendrix also has been a varsity starter her first three years for the Rams. She already has twice helped Owasso to reach the state tournament.

With her early success, Hendrix has never been cast into the role of the wily veteran.

At least not until this season.

Hendrix is one of three seniors on the Ram roster and, with the combination of her success and experience, is now one of the program veterans who has younger players looking up to her.

“I’ve always played with older girls so I haven’t had to have that super, big leadership role,” said Hendrix, who will move into the middle this fall. “But, especially as a senior, it’s become more apparent that I am the older girl. So I’m just setting an example for the other girls.”

As a junior, Hendrix thrived in her role as both setter and outside hitter. She led the team in kills (466), serving aces (80), digs (488) and assists (676). Hendrix also posted 72 blocks and was a Tulsa World All-World finalist for player of the year.

Her success on the court is also a result of her highly-driven demeanor, which had been a double-edged sword for Hendrix, according to Owasso coach Meghann Kannett.

“In the past, she would get frustrated and you could see it,” Kannett said. “She tries to keep it in. but she’s a competitor. She’s intense.”

Kannett said Hendrix has taken her leadership role to a new level, which was evident during off-season workouts.

“She’s taken the younger girls under her wing and has been a positive role model for them,” Kannett said. “She’s not cocky. She’s humble. It’s good for those younger girls to be able to look up to her.”

Following this season, Hendrix plans to continue her volleyball career at Central Oklahoma. She had other out-of-state collegiate offers but preferred the Edmond campus.

“I wanted to stay close,” Hendrix said. “My grandparents like to come watch so I wanted to find a place that was close and still play at a high level. UCO was the perfect place.”