October 20, 2014

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Midview’s Meghan Higley signs to play Division I volleyball

Midview's Meghan Higley, center, jumps to block a spike in an August 2013 game. The setter has signed to play volleyball at Niagara University. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Midview’s Meghan Higley, center, jumps to block a spike in an August 2013 game. The premier setter has signed to play volleyball at Niagara University. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

EATON TWP. — Midview’s Meghan Higley, one of the area’s premier setters, signed a national letter of intent on Friday to continue her volleyball career at Division I Niagara University.

The Middies’ captain signed during a ceremony in the school’s Ed Kubuski lobby. On hand were her parents, teammates, other family members and friends, athletic director Dan May, assistant principal Bob Maver and others.

Higley said she plans to study psychology.

“I took a psychology class (at Midview) and just loved it, so I figured it might be a good choice,” said Higley, who ranks in the top fourth of her class academically. “After graduation, I could do either clinical psychology or school psychology, I’m not sure yet.”

She also said everything about Niagara appeals to her.

“I really liked the campus and I met the coach and the team, and just fell in love with everything,” she said. “It’s a small campus and just the right size for me. I think it’s the best fit for me.”

Higley, a four-year letterwinner, is a first-team All-West Shore Conference and All-Lorain County selection, and was named to the Northeast District second team. She was a Middies captain as the last two seasons.

May said Higley is among a small handful nationwide who receive athletic scholarships.

“According to a (2012) statistic provided by the NCAA, there are approximately 420,000 student-athletes each year,” he said. “Of that, only 1 or 2 percent receive athletic aid to help offset all or part of their college expenses.

“Meghan’s hard work and dedication on and off the court has allowed her to be among that 1 or 2 percent for the 2014-15 school year. This is a testament to her, as well as her family, teachers and coaches, and they should all be congratulated.”

Middies coach Jennifer Shouse said Higley has a bright future at Niagara.

“I think she can do very well for them,” Shouse said. “She’s very determined and motivated and she has great family support. She’s go the personality of a setter that she can kind of internalize everything and she can lead her team without emotion on the court, without getting flustered. She performs very well under pressure.”

Maver, who will be the principal at Firelands next school year, said he has known Higley since she was in elementary school. She has always wanted to play college volleyball, he said, and he has no question she will succeed as a Division I player.

“We’re very proud of her,” her dad, Pat Higley, said. “This is a goal she set for herself early in her high school career. She knew she wanted to play college volleyball and that’s what makes you most happy, seeing your kid achieve the goal, whether it’s to be in the band or to be an actor or actress or to be in athletics. It’s just great to see.”

Her mom, Stephanie Townsley, said the family was excited her daughter chose Niagara, which she said is “a great university.”

“The coach (Vilis Ozols) has been very supportive of Meghan and has said he thinks she can excel in Division I,” Townsley said. “He thinks that she can jump right in and take over as setter, and challenge herself to contribute a lot to the team. She has put a lot of hard work into it between JO (Junior Olympic) volleyball and working at it seven days a week, either playing or going to conditioning.”

Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or softball@bobdaniels.info.

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