J. Thomas McNamara

     They were less than 48 hours away from competing in the semi-finals of the Class 2A Illinois High School Association’s volleyball tournament championships when they signed their letters of intent Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 13, in the St. Teresa multi-purpose room.
     They are Lexi Huck, who is taking her game to Calvin College; Abby Robinson, who is taking hers to Huntington University and Cami Lobb to nearby Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.
     Each of them responded how excited and enthused they are for their teammates, their school, the Decatur community to be playing for a Class 2championship after being moved up a class to 2A from 1A where they finished third. As seniors they already were a part of a legacy they were living, but they wanted to add a couple more chapters for their history/memory books that included a 2A state championship.
     Before Lincoln Land came into the picture with its scholarship offer, Lobb was ready to head off to Normal to attend Illinois State University where she had already been accepted.
But when Jim Dietz and his Lincoln Land volleyball program came into play her plans changed.
     Here’s what her future coach had to say about landing Lobb, “I’m glad we have Cami on board. I heard from her in August, talked with Brad and he thought she’d be a fit for us based on what he knows of our program. I wound up watching her at the Lincoln HS tournament and against Sacred Heart-Griffin and liked what I saw. She has a good idea of how to manage an offense and has the quickness to help negate less-than-perfect passes. That’s critical.
     “She also was assertive during the recruiting process–and I like that. I wasn’t having to go through Coach Dalton. We’ve been in touch regularly and I think her communication-style will go over really well here next year,” concluded Deitz.
     Lobb plans on majoring in physical therapy there with aspirations of getting into athletic training at some point in the future.
     She considers her ability to serve and her positive energy as strengths of hers.
In her chat with the Decatur Tribune prior to her signing with Huntington University in Indiana, Robinson said she was ecstatic and excited to be taking her game there after graduation next May from St. Teresa.
     “It felt like a home environment and I really liked the coaches,” she added quickly. Hitting and digging are strengths of hers which she came about from her years of playing club volleyball.
     She also said her game is a work in progress, humbly adding, “You can always get better at everything.”
     Her future coach, Kelsey Herber, opined, “I am thrilled that Abby is officially a member of our Forester Volleyball family! At the beginning of the recruiting process, I was immediately impressed by her aggressive play. She is explosive, hits a heavy ball, sees the floor well, and has outstanding ball control as a 6-rotation player. Now that we are at her signing day, I can say that Abby will be so much more than a good athlete/player on our team.
     “She is going to be a leader vocally, spiritually, and by example. She has a heart of gold, and our girls love her already! Next fall can’t come soon enough, but first she needs to go win a state championship!,” concluded Herber about her future Forester volleyball player.
Huck, too, is thrilled, excited and enthused about continuing her academic and volleyball at a prestigious school, like Calvin, which has a successful tradition of winning. But Lexi said she is going there because it is a faith based institution .
     She looks to improving her game to prepare her for the college game that she knows is faster than high schools. “I need to improve my speed of play.”
     Lexi considers leadership, communication on the court, her speed and mental toughness as strengths of hers, especially during long rallies.
     We’ve reached out to her future coach and as this is written we have not received a response.
     I will have more on this developing in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune as I will be in Redbird Arena Friday and Saturday afternoons for the lady Bulldogs Class 2A state tournament matches.

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