The Labette Lady Cardinals mined Neosho High School and landed one of the best setters that volleyball has to offer in Southwest Missouri when they signed Lady Wildcat Tori Eads on Monday at NHS.
Eads, a 5-foot-7 senior, was the backbone for the Lady Wildcats the past several seasons, according to coach Kerri Roy.
"Since I got her, since her sophomore year, she has kept the team together," Roy said. "If we had a bad pass she was always there to pick it up. (Our players) have got big shoes to fill when it comes to replacing her, because I don't know if we can."
Eads set the career assists record for the Lady Wildcats this season with 1,205 and also led the team in aces with 28, assists (334) and was named team MVP.
Labette will be getting a good one, said Roy.
"She works extremely hard in the summer," Roy said. "She's in the weight room all the time. Speed and agility, she's always the first one there and the last one to leave.
"I'm excited for her, yet I'm sad because I hate to lose her. I don't know what we're going to do without her because she sure has been a big part of our success."
Eads, who hopes to graduate and become a coach in the future, said Labette made her feel at home.
"I'm really excited to continue playing," Eads said. "I love volleyball and I hope to coach (some day).
"I just want to stay in the area. When I first walked in during my visit, all of the girls … they were so nice to me. The atmosphere, the school spirit; everything, it was really good."
The daughter of Dana and Mike Eads, Tori said she hopes to make an impact on the team right away.
"I want to be able to start, that's my goal," Eads said. "But mainly I just want to play my hardest and help them win."