TWIN FALLS — The Canyon Ridge volleyball program hopes this is the beginning of the college parade.
Middle blocker Keri Schwarz signed a letter of intent Thursday to play at Blue Mountain Community College. The school in Pendleton, Ore., is a member of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges and is the NWAACC’s reigning volleyball champion.
Schwarz, who stayed in the middle for the Riverhawks, will be a hitter for the Timberwolves.
“She hits the ball like a man," Timberwolves coach Dave Baty said. "She can play anywhere up front that she wants. We will try her at different spots.”
Riverhawk players, friends, and coaches — including head volleyball coach Stacey Boer, who’s also in charge of the Southern Idaho Volleyball club, where Baty originally spotted Schwarz — were on hand.
Anticipating high emotions, Boer wrote down some of her thoughts prior to the announcement.
“She learned how to fight for what she wants," Boer said. "As a coach you can’t teach desire. She had desire.”
Schwarz overcame numerous injuries, including a shoulder injury her junior year that later required surgery, to have her best year of her career as a senior.
Baty and Boer saved their highest compliments for Schwarz’ support system, specifically her parents, for her development.
“The first thing that impressed about her was her character,” Baty said. “Her character foundation as a player is as good as it can get. She can handle the ups and downs of the season, and go out on her own and be fine.”
Schwarz was recruited by two other schools in Florida, she said.