COLUMBIA, Mo. – Tragedy struck the Mineral Area College volleyball program as the team was competing at a weekend tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.
Former NJCAA all-American libero Shelby Meyer, a member of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Mineral Area squads, died early Saturday morning from injuries sustained in a fall. She was 21.
As reported on the Columbia Missourian website and detailed in a news release by the Columbia Police Department, investigating officers arrived at the Dumas Apartment building to assist the Columbia Fire Department following the report of a fall around 2 a.m.
The release states that officers learned that a female fell after attempting to climb a ladder to the roof of an apartment. Meyer was transported to a local emergency room, where she was later pronounced dead.
Although no foul play is suspected, the investigation is ongoing.
Meyer was a defensive star for the Cardinals over two seasons, helping them finish sixth and 10th in consecutive appearances at the NJCAA Tournament.
She was among the national leaders in digs last season, and helped St. Pius X High School win a MSHSAA Class 2 state championship as a senior in Nov. 2016.
Shelby was the younger sister of current Mineral Area assistant coach Sami Meyer.
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Mineral Area College issued the following statement Saturday afternoon:
“We are saddened to hear of the loss of former Mineral Area College volleyball player Shelby Meyer. We offer our most sincere condolences to her family, friends, coaches and teammates. They will be in our thoughts and prayers during this unimaginably difficult time.”
Mineral Area players competed through their grief in straight-set losses to Hutchinson and New Mexico Military on Saturday after being informed of the news.
Tuesday's scheduled home match against Kaskaskia has been postponed with a make-up date to be determined.
Meyer played 12 matches and every set this season as a junior transfer at Columbia College. School President Dr. Scott Dalrymple also issued a statement:
"It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that we have lost another member of the Columbia College community. Sadly, student Shelby Meyer died in a tragic accident early Saturday morning off-campus. Shelby was from Festus, Missouri, a member of the Women's Volleyball Team and had just transferred to Columbia College this semester from Mineral Area Community College. We want to extend our sincerest condolences to Shelby's family, friends, and teammates."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Shelby's family and all of those whose lives have been touched by knowing her,” he added.
The MAC athletics community was shaken for the second time this month after the body of former all-Region 16 softball player Samantha Ratledge, 22, was recovered from Kentucky Lake during Labor Day weekend.