Nikiski senior middle hitter Mindy Cason singed a letter of intent Wednesday to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage this fall.
"I'm just excited and thrilled," said Nikiski head volleyball coach Cherrie Hobart-Verkuilen. "It's like a college coach looked and said, 'Wow, you guys are doing so well at Nikiski that this is somebody that we want.'
"I think it's great when one of our local kids goes to play for UAA."
Cason, named the District 3/3A most valuable player, a member of the all-district team and the all-state team, helped guide the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in last fall's Class 3A state tournament.
"I wanted to stay in the state," Cason said Wednesday afternoon. "I decided last month, and I sent off the letter today."
Even within the state boundaries, Cason had to choose, as the University of Alaska Fairbanks also was an option.
"UAA's very dynamic," she said. "I like the coaching staff and I got along with the team really well. They're a competitive team."
Cason said UAA head coach Kim Lauwers didn't apply any pressure to make a decision.
"The UAA coach was really easygoing, which made it easy for me," she said.
Mindy's mother, Sue Cason, said she was happy to have her daughter only a 160-mile drive away.
"That was a big plus for us, being that this will be her first time away from home," she said.
Cason said she will major in early childhood education, with plans to teach elementary or preschool. But Cason said she is considering another vocation, as well.
"Coaching was one of the things I plan for," she said.
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