NEW MADISON – Tri-Village senior Alana Holsapple committed to the Bluffton University volleyball team on Thursday afternoon and is excited about joining the Beavers’ winning tradition.
“I’m really excited about it,” Holsapple said of continuing her volleyball career in college. “I really love playing volleyball. (Tri-Village volleyball coach) Chris (Brewer) has given me a great senior year, and I just really wanted to continue playing volleyball.”
Holsapple, the daughter of Pam and Dick Holsapple, was drawn to Bluffton because of its close-knit community, which reminded her of home.
“It’s a private school so it’s really close-knit, kind of like Tri-Village,” she said. “The community is just like Tri-Village. They’re all really close, and I just want to be a part of that experience.”
Bluffton is an NCAA Division III program that competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference along with Anderson University, Defiance College, Earlham College, Franklin College, Hanover College, Manchester University, Mount St. Joseph University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Transylvania University.
This past season the Beavers finished 19-11 overall and 7-2 in the HCAC, reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament. They have had four consecutive winning seasons.
“They have a really good team, actually,” Holsapple said. “I’m really excited. They’ve had a lot of success in the past years. Their coach is really good. So I’m really excited to work with him and improve my skills.”
At Bluffton, Holsapple will be coached by Steve Yarnell. He was a teammate of Holsapple’s high school coach, Brewer, on the University of Findlay men’s volleyball team.
“I know the coach up there,” Brewer said. “I played with him in college so I knew she was going to a good program, a good coach. I’m very proud of her.
“Steve is a great coach. I know he’s dedicated to the program up there so I’m very happy.”
Holsapple brought a lot of athleticism and leadership to the Tri-Village volleyball team, Brewer said, and he looks for her to continue with that in college.
“The leadership aspect that she brought to the team, I think that’s going to be kind of sorely missed this year,” he said. “Having somebody like her that’s always there every open gym, every event that we do, just kind of her dedication to volleyball and how hard she works at it. And she’s very athletic so in college I know she has options of where she could play. She could maybe play outside and play through the back row or she could play middle. She’s just that kind of player. She’s very athletic, and she’s a little bit on the taller side.”
Holsapple was second team all-Cross County Conference during her senior year of high school. She led Tri-Village with 109 kills and 51 aces. She was second on the team with 33 blocks and added 73 digs.
The Tri-Village senior, who plans to study psychology and become a clinical therapist for children, hopes for an enjoyable experience in college athletics.
“Just want to have fun and continue playing volleyball,” she said. “I don’t want it to be a stressful thing. I just want to keep getting wins and just having fun with my friends.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.