|Beach to play volleyball at Dayton; Smith chooses to play at Toledo (11-29-12)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:24|
PERRYSBURG — Alyssa Beach is joining one of the top college volleyball programs in the country.
And Lindsay Smith is hoping to build her college choice into a winner.
Beach will play at the University of Dayton and Smith will attend the University of Toledo.
The senior teammates on the Perrysburg High School volleyball team have signed to play collegiately and both will receive a scholarship.
Beach, a 6-foot-3 middle hitter, was recruited as a middle blocker,
“As soon I got down there on my visit, I noticed (Dayton) had a great coaching staff and great players, and it’s a great program,” Beach said. “The campus was beautiful and it’s a good school as well. I knew it was the place I wanted to be.”
Dayton, ranked 13th nationally, is 25-4 overall and won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament championships this season.
The Flyers will play in an NCAA regional this week, their ninth NCAA berth in the last 10 seasons. Dayton has advanced to the second round of the NCAAs four times, most recently in 2010.
“I’m very excited about getting down there and help them work towards a national championship,” Beach said. “It’s very exciting to be going to a program like this.”
Beach originally received a letter from Dayton when she was a freshman and she committed to the Flyers in January, just two hours after receiving her scholarship offer.
She chose Dayton over No. 14 Ohio State, Notre Dame, Ohio University, West Virginia and Colorado State.
“Early in my junior year, when I really got serious about looking at schools, Dayton was my number one choice,” Beach said.
Beach’s senior season was cut short by a season-ending ankle injury Sept. 13.
She played in just eight matches, but was off to a monster start with 96 kills, 27 blocks, 22 digs and seven aces.
Beach was on the Under Armour All-American watch list and the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace list. She helped her team to a fifth-place finish in the AAU 18 Nationals.
“She has great size and athleticism,” Dayton coach Kelly Sheffield said. “She is really good off of one foot and has the potential to be a really good college blocker. I’d like to see her play with a little more of an edge to her and she’s developing that. Alyssa’s a great kid and has come down here a lot the past couple of years, and that will only help her be better prepared. Her future is really bright and I am really looking forward to coaching her.”
Beach, who has a 3.976 grade-point average, plans to major in medicine in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.
Smith never even considered attending Toledo, even though the school was in her backyard.
But once the setter visited the campus, it quickly moved to the top of her list. She also visited Marist and Northern Kentucky,
“Once I visited there, I was like, wow, I really like it here,” said Smith, who committed to Toledo in February. “I really liked the campus, the facilities, the program and the coaching staff. It seemed like a great place to be. When they offered me, I knew that was where I wanted to go and that made my decision a little bit easier.”
The 6-footer said she’ll redshirt as a freshman since Toledo likes to have its setters to years apart, but she’ll still be able to practice next season.
“It’ll give me a chance to practice and get better, and be ready for the following season,” Smith said.
Smith had 469 assists this season, but has a strong all-around game. She also had 168 kills, 192 digs, 31 aces and 22 blocks.
The Rockets are hoping players like Smith will help their program become a winner. Toledo was 8-21 overall and 2-14 in the Mid-American Conference this season.
“I’m committed to being successful, and he’s committed to recruiting great athletes who love volleyball and are committed,” Smith said. “Coach Smith (Toledo’s Greg) is looking for winners. He really wants to win and I have that same attitude. I’m very competitive.”
Smith, who has a 4.17 gpa, has applied to Toledo’s health science college. She hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy, nursing or as a pharmacist.
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