On Wednesday, Eagle Valley High School student and volleyball star Alex Lassa signed a letter of intent to accept a full-athletic scholarship at Rutgers University in New Jersey next year.
"She has made a lot of sacrifices for the sport and now she's reaping the success of that commitment," said Lassa's coach, Shawn Weatherred. "She missed out on a lot of experiences that most kids have."
Lassa has played volleyball since elementary school and became a varsity player halfway through her freshman year at EVHS. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter has been involved in a very competitive club volleyball program on the Front Range for years as well.
"I pretty much play year round," she said.
Weatherred said the club program Lassa plays in is at a very high level.
"She's been instrumental in taking our game to another level," he said. "With her help, we won league three years in a row and won second place this year. It's been nice for the younger kids to have someone to look up to and see the kind of ability that's possible at the high school level."
Lassa's dad, Michael, said her family is very proud of her.
"It's what we have always hoped for and have been shooting for," he said. "Her mom and I are both from big cities, so we won't mind going to New Jersey sometime to watch her play."
Michael Lassa added that Rutgers streams its games on the Internet, so people here will also be able to watch Alex play next year.
Meanwhile, the Lassa family has another season of club volleyball to look forward to.
Alex Lassa said she wanted to go to a big school and liked Rutgers after visiting last spring. The 17-year-old isn't sure what she'll study there yet, but she's curious about nutritional sciences and psychology.
Weatherred wished her well.
"She was easy to work with as a coach," he said. "Hopefully she will continue at a very high level."