Three members of the 2006 Skyview volleyball team have committed to playing volleyball in college this fall.
Jennifer Holland will play for NCAA Division II school University of Alaska Fairbanks, Melissa Fay will play for Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore., and Jordan Grant will play for Southern Virginia University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Buena Vista, Va.
Fay and Grant signed letters of intent on Wednesday. According to Skyview volleyball coach Sheila Kupferschmid, Holland did not sign a letter of intent because she didn’t want to interfere with other scholarships she is set to receive.
“I think this is a good sign of the type of work that these kids put in during their high school years,” Kupferschmid said. “They weren’t stars coming out of junior high.”
The three were part of a Skyview team that was undefeated in nontournament play during the regular season, going 15-0. The Panthers then suffered several upsets at the Northern Lights Conference tournament and did not make the state tournament.
Holland played outside hitter in high school, but tried out for and made the UAF team as a libero. The improving Nanooks went 7-16 overall last season under head coach Phil Shoemaker after finishing 1-21 in 2005.
“I think probably what he saw in her was her work ethic and character,” Kupferschmid said. “She also has a lot of potential because she’s such a good athlete and she’s a good defensive player.”
Fay is getting an athletic scholarship to play volleyball and basketball for Clackamas, which finished 41-9 in volleyball last year. Clackamas has played in the championship of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in three of the past four years, winning in 2004. Head coach Kathie Woods had been with the program for 24 years.
“Finding just the right pieces to finish the puzzle for this next year’s team is a difficult task,” Woods said in a released statement. “We found a valuable piece in Melissa. She will be an integral part of our chemistry as we come together.
“Melissa is a very good setter coming out of high school but she also has adequate height which will help her play the right side position when she is not setting.”
Grant is receiving scholarship money to attend Southern Virginia, but it is not athletic scholarship money. Southern Virginia finished 6-20 in 2006 and will be led this season by first-year coach Brian Pendleton. Pendleton will use Grant as a libero.
“She flew down to Southern Virginia and tried out and the coach was impressed with her technique and skill level,” Kupferschmid said. “They offered her something right there. It’s wonderful for Jordan Grant. She never made it in eighth grade, but she just kept working through our program. Now she’s a kid living her dream.”
Kupferschmid said the three show the opportunities for Alaska athletes.
“Alaska kids can go out and find a school that fits them, and continue on at a higher level of play,” Kupferschmid said. “It’s encouraging to all Alaska kids that the opportunity is there. They just need to find it.”
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