Bobcats Riker happy to have chance to play at Quinnipiac

Logan Riker is happy to have a chance to play college volleyball.
But unlike most high school athletes who decide to continue their careers, Riker’s road to
intercollegiate sports has not been the smoothest — even if it wasn’t any of her own doing.
The Bowling Green High School graduate has signed to play at Division I Quinnipiac, but after deciding on
the school in Hamden, Conn., the volleyball program was eliminated in March in an effort to cut costs.

“That was completely heartbreaking,” said Riker, who verbally committed to Quinnipiac in November. “The
school quit on us. I think that’s what we all felt like. They just didn’t want to support us as a team
However, after the head coach at Quinnipiac and Riker’s own mother, Lesley, among others, took the school
to court behind the precedents set by Title IX, the volleyball program and Riker’s chance to play in
college was assured for at least one season.
“It was really frustrating because I went from knowing which school I was going to be at,” Riker said.
“That was the frustrating aspect of it, wanting to play … You’ve got this goal that you’ve been
wanting forever and it’s taken away.”
A judge ordered an injunction after the team’s coaches, parents, and players brought a lawsuit against
the school citing the damages eliminating the program would cost those involved, especially being so
late in the school year when most players have settled on a school.
Riker was under the age of 18 at the time, so she did not testify in court on behalf of the team. Her
mother flew to Connecticut for the trial in May and after nearly two weeks of deliberation the judge
came back with the injunction.
Though the program is only guaranteed one more season (further court hearings will be held to decide the
future of the program), Riker is thrilled simply to have the chance to continue playing the sport she
has loved since she was a child.
“It’s always been a goal of mine since I was like nine … It’s just really exciting to meet one of your
goals,” Riker said. “I’m proud of being able to make it.”
“At least I know I can go to school this year and not worry about it,” she added. “Hopefully I don’t have
to worry about finding a place to transfer to, but if worse comes to worse I’ll have time to search for
another school.”
Riker was a leader for a successful BGHS volleyball program, as the Bobcats claimed their fifth
consecutive Northern Lakes League title last fall. Riker, who plays libero, was first-team All-NLL and
All-Wood County, as well as second-team All-District as a senior. She has also been involved with the
Premier Volleyball Club since the fourth grade.
The Bobcats were expected to experience a down season last year after the graduation of a talented class
in the spring of 2008 that won four straight league titles. But Riker and a new crop of players stepped
up and continued the success that the program had experienced for the last five seasons.
“We came out as the underdogs this year … We weren’t supposed to be good,” said Riker. “We came out
with goals and that’s what we wanted to do. It’s the same way with the Quinnipiac team, it’s all about
working really hard for our goals.”
Quinnipiac, coached by Robin Sparks, is a member of the Northeast Conference, which includes Central
Connecticut State, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, and Robert Morris, among others. Quinnipiac, which like
BGHS goes by the nickname Bobcats, went 5-30 overall last season.
“(Quinnipiac) is a team that’s on our way up,” Riker said. “We’ve never been very strong but with the
girls that they have there now and our freshmen class we’re going to try really hard to make it a strong
Riker compiled a 3.4 cumulative grade-point average in high school and plans on majoring in
Business/Marketing at Quinnipiac.
“The school itself, the campus is absolutely beautiful,” Riker said. “It’s a really comfortable campus.”