BUFFS ROUNDUP: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020
In the aftermath of one of the best seasons in Garden City High School volleyball history, coach Trista Bailey has watched her veteran seniors make decisions on furthering their careers at the collegiate level.
First, it was Reagan Karlin, who inked an NCAA letter to attend Division I powerhouse Creighton University in Omaha in mid-November.
Now, two of her teammates — Ashlyn Swan and Alli Meng — have decided on their playing future at the community college level by signing NJCAA letters on Wednesday in the Media Room at GCHS.
When your high school team goes through a 33-5 senior season, with a WAC and Class 6A sub-state championship accolades and then an appearance at the state tournament, it does peak the interest of college coaches.
Both stand 5-feet-10-inches tall, but Meng plays the Opposite Hitter position while Swan has primarily been the Lady Buffs’ Middle Blocker.
Swan, a three-year varsity player for the Lady Buffs, will be taking her skills to Colby Community College to play for the Lady Trojans while Meng elected to stay close to home and will play at Garden City Community College in the fall of 2020.
“I just felt like Colby was a better program fit for me,” Swan said in explaining her decision. “The coaches have been there a long time and I think they’ll help me become even a better player.”
Swan, who had career stats of 353 kills, a .179 hitting efficiency, with 119 blocks and 83 solo blocks, said the fact that Colby wants her to remain as a Middle Hitter played a big part in her decision.
“They’ve been very straightforward with me,” Swan said. “I’m a true Middle Hitter, where I’ve played my entire life, and they’re going to have me in that position.”
Swan said she plans to study radiology for the two years at Colby before making any further decisions on her playing career.
“I’ll get my general eds out of the way and then see what happens,” Swan said.
Ashlyn is the daughter of Chris and Laurie Swan.
For Meng, the signing culminated a life-long goal of playing at the collegiate level.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play college volleyball, but I always wanted to play at Penn State,” Meng said with a smile. “I’ve had to adjust my goals a bit.”
Meng, who played for coach Jennifer Barrett at Holcomb High School before transferring to GCHS for her senior season, finished her career with 826 kills, 445 digs, 99 blocks and served up 51 aces.
“I had a hard time making up my mind,” said Meng, who also considered Ottawa University.
“I talked to coach (Patrick) Hiltz and feel it’s a good opportunity for me to play and then see if I can get to a bigger place in a couple of years.”
Meng also has competed in track and Peer Leadership while at GCHS. She plans to major in secondary education with an emphasis in special education.
She is the daughter of Matt and Annie Meng and Becky Meng and Jason Drohman.
Two other seniors – Kelbi Richter and Remi Vargas – are expected to announce their decisions soon, Bailey said.