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Vandalia grad inducted at Greenville College

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By Andrew Harner

Donna (Lay) Collins, a Vandalia graduate, was recently inducted into the Greenville College Athletic Hall of Fame.

A three-sport athlete at Greenville College, Collins earned 12 letters in her four-year career while leading her teams in volleyball, women’s basketball and softball to winning seasons every year.

In volleyball, Collins earned numerous all-conference and all-district awards, and in basketball, she was the team’s leading free-throw shooter each season.

Her most prestigious athletic honor, however, came during the 1981 softball season.

GC was the national runner-up that season, and Collins was named to the AIAW Division III National All-Tournament team.

Also a strong student, Collins earned the Lincoln Laureate award, which she received as the top student in her class.

She taught at the high-school level in Illinois – including two years in Vandalia – for three years following her 1984 college graduation, and later moved to Florida to continue her teaching and coaching careers.

She has served as the head junior varsity and assistant varsity volleyball coach at Tarpon Springs, Fla., since 2007, helping lead the team to the state final four in 2011.

Collins is also the head coach for the Pinellas Heat Elite club volleyball team in Clearwater, Fla. In 2013, she was the first coach in 12 years to take that area’s youngest volleyball team to the Junior Olympics.

Collins and her husband, Mike, have four children, and she is the daughter of Carl and Mabel Lay.