Jody Larson to turn pro after graduation


Wichita State senior Jody Larson (11) attempts to bump the ball back to Indiana State Saturday night in Charles Koch Arena.

Former Wichita State volleyball star Jody Larson watched the sport from the sidelines as a child in a complete awe. As her three older sisters were coached by their mother, Teri, Jody was fascinated by how a simple white ball can turn out to be competitive and enjoyable sport.

As Larson blossomed into a three-time AVCTL MVP at Maize South High School, she dreamed about taking her talents in the sport beyond the college level. During Larson’s two-year career at WSU, she accomplished her college goals of leading the Shockers to back-to-back NCAA tournaments while earning Missouri Valley Conference Tournament MVP in back-to-back seasons.

An AVCA All-American honor topped off a prolific college career, but Larson had one goal that was still unfulfilled after her final game at WSU.

“Jody always talked about playing professional volleyball,” junior Emily Hiebert said. “It was one of her dreams come true.”

Larson’s dream of becoming a professional volleyball player became official on Saturday. She signed with Elite Volley from 2017-2019.

Founded in 2006 by Ryan Jay Owens, Larson’s agent, Elite Volley is an agency that works with different communities and networks of athletes, coaches and teams to get to a higher level. The organizations’ partners use resources in order to help post-graduate college athletes become professionals.

Larson will officially be working as a professional volleyball player when she obtains her degree in sport management from WSU this spring and after the conclusion of a summer internship.

“Before I started high school, I remember the dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish in volleyball,” Larson said. “Playing professionally was one of those dreams and I’m thankful that Elite Volley is helping me fulfill it.”

Owens will work to sell her game to professional teams from all over the globe. While Larson finishes up her spring classes, she said that she has been focusing on improving her strength for the next level of play.

When WSU volleyball has spring workouts, Larson is right beside her former teammates conditioning and training.

“Chris Lamb helped me (turn pro) from the first day I transferred (to WSU),” Larson said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without coming here and learning so much from this coaching staff.”

As Larson continues to improve her game before the fall season comes around, her former teammates look at her as an inspiration for what they can become.

“(Having professionals) shows a lot about the Wichita State volleyball program and what we as players are capable of,” junior Hanna Shelton said. “Jody isn’t the first nor the last Shocker to play professionally.

“Watching Jody train so far this spring has been motivating for our team. She sets a great example with her work ethic and it’s been inspiring to be able to see her take this opportunity and run with it.”