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February 3, 2021
Following are excerpts from the story, which can be read here.
Go West, young lady, go West.
Katlyn Sipes wasn’t inspired by that variation of a line often attributed to Horace Greeley, the 19th century newspaper publisher who urged people to find opportunity in America’s westward expansion.
Sipes has, however, taken that concept to heart.
A St. Francis senior and Montgomery resident, Sipes has signed with Seattle to continue her volleyball career with the NCAA Division I program that competes in the Western Athletic Conference.
It’s a long way from home, but Sipes doesn’t think the move is a stretch.
She had never been to the West Coast until taking an unofficial visit to the school in September with her parents, Jenny, a Rush-Copley Medical Center emergency room nurse, and Jason, an Oswego firefighter.
The unusual recruiting scenario of the past year, impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, has helped prepare Sipes for what lies ahead.
She actually got the ball rolling with Seattle coach Michelle Cole and her staff, initially reaching out by email in an effort to find a good program at a school where she could pursue a psychology major.
“I’d like to get into sports psychology or social work,” Sipes said.
She followed up with Seattle’s staff by sending multiple video highlights. She sealed the deal by making a real connection during numerous Zoom video conference calls.
“The thing that really made me want to go there was the coaching staff. It felt like a family from the start, and I think coach (Cole) will be like a second parent.”
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