STANTON — On Wednesday afternoon, Central Montcalm senior Paige Switzer realized a dream come true.
Switzer, a volleyball and softball star for the Hornets, signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball in college for Lander University in Greenwood, S.C.
Lander is a Division 2 school and plays in the Peach Belt Conference. A scouting service (National Collegiate Scouting Association) helped lead Switzer to the southern school.
“I have an NCSA profile and their (Lander) profile matched my likes exactly,” Switzer said. “I looked them up and their coach (Ashley) Stathas said to come down and visit. I loved it and that is why I picked it.”
The recruiting process with Lander began about six weeks ago. Lander is a long way from home, but Switzer is ready to go.
“It will be my first time being away from home, but we will have to see,” Switzer said. “I will probably get homesick, but I will stick through it.”
Switzer was a three-year varsity player and earned CSAA honors each year. She was honorable mention as a sophomore and first team the past two seasons.
Switzer helped lead the Hornets (14-16-4) to the district finals, before falling to the Belding Redskins. She had 10 kills and seven digs in the final.
“She is awesome. She came to me in the 10th grade,” Gettys said. “She dominates the net with blocking and hitting. She is a good all-around player and leader. She is always helping others improve their game and she is determined on improving her game.”
Switzer first got the thought of playing in college her sophomore year.
“My AAU coach (Lisa Gettys) told me I had the potential to play in college. I started thinking about that my sophomore year,” Switzer said. “I kept working for it and thinking I could do this. When I got the opportunity with NCSA I went with it and it happened.”
The past three years Switzer has played AAU volleyball, which is sandwiched between the high school volleyball season and softball.
Volleyball is definitely her favorite sport.
“I like the way the team has to work together,” Switzer said. “I like how intense it is. It doesn’t seem intense when you’re watching, but when you have to work together for every point, it’s fun.”
The middle hitter said she is focusing on improving her entire game before heading to school this summer.
“I have to improve on everything. I’m not going to be to their level,” Switzer said. “My goal is to play in at least a game next season.”
Lander finished 15-17 last season.
Current high school coach Haley Dawe had some advice for Switzer, whom she called a leader and tremendous player.
“My advice to Paige would be to stay focused in school and with sports,” Dawe said. “It’s very hard to be away from home and it will be hard to manage time with school, volleyball and a social life. I hope she works hard and falls in love with the sport all over again.”
The college volleyball season begins in August. Switzer is excited.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to it,” she said.