Meisheia Griffin is the prototype for a Panthers’ leader

Meisheia Griffin spikes a ball during the Indoor Women's Volleyball matchup against Western Carolina University. Photo Submitted by GSU Athletics

Georgia State women’s volleyball has had many great athletes in the past, including Sarah-Jane Mugo, April De Costa, Emily Averbeck and Celestine Friesen. It is no surprise this year’s group of women has the same tenacity and impressive play as these famous players.

However, every year for this program, there have been two primary goals: beat Georgia Southern and win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Senior Meisheia Griffin is a part of that journey along with the rest of her teammates, serving as their leader.

The Columbus, Georgia native began her athletic career later than most but found that she was special early on.

“Honestly, I kinda started playing sports a lot later than my peers,” Griffin said. “My first sport I ever played was in sixth grade, and it was tennis, and I was actually really good at it being my first time playing.” 

Shortly after, though, she realized that she wanted to transition into something more team-oriented.

“[During] my seventh-grade year, I actually tried out for the volleyball team, but I didn’t make it,” Griffin said. “Then, [during] my eighth-grade year, I made the team.” 

Griffin, who endured obstacles on her way to finding out she excelled at volleyball, had help from her high school coaches. They were the first to realize she had the potential to play well in college. 

“I would say I really got into playing volleyball my freshman year of high school,” Griffin said. “My high school coach saw so much potential in me … she was saying I was tall and really athletic, so she put me on varsity, and that’s when I really started playing and taking it seriously.”

Setting goals is common among regular college students and student-athletes. Griffin is laser-focused on accomplishing those individual goals and team goals that have been set for the season.

“Team-wise, I would say I definitely want us to go far in the Sun Belt tournament — if not reach the championship, maybe the semifinals — and have a winning record,” Griffin said. “I don’t want us to lose … more than five games. [T]hat is my goal for the team.”

Along with the team goals, she sets the bar high for herself.

“And me personally, I want to continue to lead the conference in blocking and again be in the top 10 if not the top five in hitting percentage,” Griffin said. “Instead of second-team, I want to make first-team all-conference.”  

As one of three Panthers to record over 200 kills in the 2019 season, Griffin has led Georgia State in blocking efforts since her freshman season in 2017, as a sophomore, recording 1.35 blocks per set.

The standard has been set, and only time will tell what Griffin has up her sleeves this year.