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Sky High Sports opens volleyball gym

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Dayna Masters (left) and Lindsay Laurent, directors and co-owners of Sky High Sports/Sky High Volleyball.

Dayna Masters and Lindsay Laurent share a passion and love for volleyball that led to their business partnership in Sky High Sports/Sky High Volleyball starting in June of 2018.

Their personalities seemed to instantly click when they met by chance about three years ago. Laurent described it as “an instant connection” with Masters.

“Honestly, from the minute I started talking to Dayna, I was like, ‘I feel really comfortable with this woman,’” said Laurent, who was born in Ohio, went to school in Lubbock and played volleyball for two seasons at Texas A&M.

Now the two volleyball instructors are the proud “parents” of a new baby — their own gym, which had a ribbon cutting on June 9 and opened to students last Sunday.

Even though they were not lifelong friends, they seemed to be a good fit.

“I could see things in her that I didn’t bring to the table. I thought together we can make this work,” Masters said. “We work really hard and we get a lot done, just the two of us. We’ve got full-time jobs but this is our passion and we work really hard to make things work. I feel like that both of us will always keep that as our focus.”

The gym is 4,500-square feet with a 25-foot ceiling, located at 2870 FM 914 (Alexander Road), just outside the Stephenville city limit. They also have an outdoor sand volleyball court next to the gym.

Laurent and Masters met about three years ago, by chance. They started having serious conversations about being business partners about two years ago.

“I called her up one day and said I have this really crazy idea,” Laurent said. “I really want to start a volleyball club. What do you think about that?”

Masters said she had “a million questions,” but was open to the idea.

“I really can’t tell you that I ever imagined having my own club. I really didn’t,” said Masters, who grew up in De Leon and has worked as a physical therapist for 18 years at Comanche County Physical Therapy. “I’ve always loved volleyball. She had to convince me to start the club and then I had to convince her, ‘Let’s build the gym’.”

Before the gym became a reality, they were teaching volleyball to their students at various other gyms they temporarily rented for their use around Stephenville.

A GYM IS BORN

They hired J.J. Barton and Rafter B Construction to build the gym.

“We were still doing touch-ups Tuesday (June 9),” said Masters, who played volleyball for two seasons at Cisco College. “The net went up on Sunday (June 7). Monday (June 8) we finished the lines on the court.”

Laurent, who works for Tarleton State University, said that the first time she walked in the almost-completed gym was an emotional experience.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to cry, or scream happy tears, or faint,” Laurent said. “But honestly I was speechless.”

Masters added, “There’s a lot of emotions involved, but mostly (we are) proud and excited to be able to share and have our athletes have a home, because all along we haven’t had a home.”

OPEN TO ALL

Sky High Sports is open to anyone ages 6 to 18. Masters said that they are currently offering summer clinics teaching individual volleyball skills, which began Sunday.

“In the summer, we do camps and clinics,” Masters said. “Anybody’s welcome. In the fall is when we actually start club season, but our tryouts for those teams happen in July. That’s where we actually form teams and that will set us up for our club season, which begins in November-December.”

There are no longterm club memberships, according to Masters. Students can check the calendar on the website (SkyHighStephenville.com), send an email to sign up, then pay at the door. For more details, visit the website. They also have a Facebook page, and are active on Instagram.

Masters noted that for anyone who wants to learn volleyball but may not be ready to be on a traveling club team, they plan to start having an instructional program on weekends this fall, for the first time.

Sky High has four other qualified coaches who work with the students and supervise the club teams. They had six club teams last year.