TWIN FALLS — Over the last year, Gracie Mumford has grown as a volleyball player and demonstrated leadership on the court.
The 18-year-old Twin Falls High School senior signed her letter of intent Wednesday to play volleyball at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.
Gracie has been playing volleyball for eight years. She’s a two-sport athlete at Twin Falls High, pursuing both volleyball and basketball all four years of high school.
Gracie told the Times-News that during her time at Twin Falls High, she has learned to love the game of volleyball more. And when she looks back on her athletic memories, it’s the team atmosphere that stands out.
“I think building a family was a huge aspect of all of my years here,” she said.
Gracie said she loves that Treasure Valley Community College is close to home, and she loves the coach and team feel there, where she will be able to count on everyone. She said it’s also the perfect size school for her.
“I’m super excited to go on and play the sport that I love and continue my education, as well,” Gracie said.
After fulfilling her general education course requirements, she plans to study physical therapy.
On Wednesday, more than 30 of Gracie’s family members, friends, teammates and school employees gathered in the gymnasium foyer for the signing.
Gracie, her parents Ryan and Janet Mumford, and Twin Falls High head volleyball coach and Club Canyon volleyball director Andria Harshman sat at a table with Gracie’s Twin Falls Bruins jerseys draped over it.
Arrangements of white and orange balloons — the colors for Treasure Valley Community College — surrounded the table. Another table in the gymnasium foyer was covered with photo displays from Gracie’s volleyball career, as well as her club volleyball jerseys.
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Twin Falls High athletic director Ted Reynolds greeted the crowd, saying it’s a great day to celebrate Gracie taking the next steps to pursue collegiate athletics at Treasure Valley Community College.
“It’s a really nice campus,” he said. “I think she’ll enjoy it.”
Gracie is also a strong student, Reynolds said, with a 3.23 GPA.
Harshman told the crowd she coached Gracie for one season at Twin Falls High and met her a little more than a year ago. “Over the last year, I’ve seen such a change in you,” she told Gracie.
Harshman told the audience she noticed Gracie’s leadership and that she’s not afraid to say the right thing. And her confidence and love of volleyball grew, she said.
A year ago, Gracie was a little shy and apprehensive on the court, Harshman said, but grew as a player. Harshman said she saw Gracie’s desire to play at the college level and her natural skill.
Gracie’s mother, Janet, told the crowd: “We’re just really proud of Gracie and for the opportunity for her to go on and play.”
Gracie’s father, Ryan, said probably the best thing they did was stay in the Twin Falls High attendance zone because Gracie benefited from excellent coaches and teachers.
Ryan said he’s thankful for Gracie’s good friends and thanked them for putting up with her. “She can be a handful at times,” he said jokingly, and the audience laughed.
Gracie told her family and friends she’s thankful for their support, as well as help with getting through all of her injuries.